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Good things can come from unfortunate events

English writer, William Somerset Maugham, wrote about a janitor at St. Peter’s Church in London.

A newly-appointed priest discovered the janitor of the church was illiterate and fired him, not wanting any illiterates working for him. Now jobless, the former janitor decided to invest his savings into a tiny store. The store prospered so he bought another store, then another, ending up with a chain of stores worth a large sum of money.

The man’s banker asked, “You’ve done so well for an illiterate, but where do you think you would be if you could read and write?”

“Well,” replied the man, “I’d be the janitor of St. Peter’s Church.”

Good things can come out of the bad things that happen to us. Have you ever watched a butterfly escape from a cocoon? If you were to try and assist the butterfly, you would cripple it. The butterfly must struggle and force its way out in order for the fluids in its body to be pressed out into its wings, allowing them to develop and be ready for flight once it emerges. If you were to help speed the process, this could never happen. You would simply have a really fat, swollen bodied butterfly with deformed wings, unable to fly.

It is the struggles in life that help us to become all that we can be for ourselves, others and God. If God allowed us to go through all our life without any obstacles it would cripple us.

That’s why Paul wrote this, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

How will we react to our suffering? Will we allow it to cause us to reach out to God and learn to depend on him and him alone? Will we allow it to teach us and grow us into the beautiful butterfly God wants us to become? Will we allow it to become a way for us to minister to others? Will we allow it to ultimately be our reason for praising God? Or shall we sit back and crawl around never fully developing?

Father, help us to learn from our sufferings and to surrender all we are for all You promise. Develop every one of us into what You desire. Help us learn from You as we grow together. Help us be the good. In Jesus name, amen.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail.com.