"But if I say, 'I will not mention His word or speak anymore in His Name,' His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."- Jeremiah 20:9
There are certain nerve-racking experiences in life that cause us to become antsy, jittery, sweat profusely, and have abnormal levels of anxiety. We can become spent, agitated, and an emotional mess from things such as asking someone on a date, finding out a baby's gender, dealing with a work deadline, resolving conflict with a loved one, or waiting for test results.
I am convinced that these up and down experiences do not simply take place on thrill rides, when facing your fears, or being in danger. We can feel the butterflies in our stomach at varying times. For example, every Saturday the butterflies are having a party as I get ready to coach my son's basketball team. Every week I feel this burden to have the team ready to play, for each player to have fun, and for the parents to be satisfied with the results. This high expectation has yielded high pressure for something that should not be such a big deal. Then every Sunday I wake up with a similar stirring. As I prepare to deliver God's Word of truth, hope, and power at church, I feel my mind racing, heart pumping, and emotions jumping all over the map. I face each Sunday with a deep focus and desire to speak on behalf of the Lord to His people. If that isn't a humbling, demanding, or even terrifying proposition, I do not know what is!
When it comes to our emotional butterflies it doesn't matter if the area is something we deem significant or inconsequential, something we are skilled at or under-qualified for. The reason we feel the inner-churning generally comes down to two things. First, we CARE. We care about our relationships, resources, and responsibilities. We want to see the best and do our best for those things that are dear to our heart. In I Peter 5:7 it says, "Cast all your anxiety on God because He cares for you." Secondly, it is HARD. These areas require a great deal of time, energy, thought, and prayer. There is a level of labor and sacrifice involved in order to complete the task and yield fruitful results. Many know how taxing it can be to parent properly, take a stand for what is right, or to be bold enough to share your faith. In the midst of these daunting assignments, the Lord wants to remind us from I Corinthians 15:58, "Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
The picture of a butterfly's life cycle provides us with a very real encouragement for today. A butterfly starts out as an ordinary (even ugly) moth, but there comes a transformation in the cocoon where it breaks through into a new and beautiful state. What I feel on Saturday morning for the game and Sunday morning for church, is transformed by the end of the day into a deep sense of joy, fulfillment, and purpose. May the butterflies of life be replaced with breakthroughs as you follow and trust in the Lord to deliver overcoming joy and victory! Psalm 118:15 says, "Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: 'The Lord's right hand has done mighty things!"