Monday, June 10, 2013

Taking Short Cuts

Ever feel like hurrying things along? I do. I get tempted to take short cuts, to get it over with. Like this mess I was in with a ball of yarn. I was almost to the end of this scarf project and suddenly the last bit of yarn was a tangled knot. I tugged. I twisted. I tried to patiently work it under, over and through to get it straightened out. But, it seemed the more I tugged the worse it became.

That’s when you look for the scissors.

Just snip it off and be done with it.

I couldn’t do it. I needed that last bit of yarn for a couple of rows and to join the two ends to make an infinity scarf. Snipping it would just ruin the project.

This reminds me of a story about a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis while someone eagerly waited. The butterfly seemed to be stuck; it pushed and pumped trying to free itself. Finally, the onlooker couldn’t stand it—it was taking much too long. So, he decided to snip the top of the chrysalis with a tiny pair of scissors—just to help it along.

The butterfly did get free pretty quickly after that—but instead of being beautiful and ready to fly, it looked stunted and deformed, hobbling about, and eventually died.

You see, the process of emerging from the chrysalis pumps fluid into the butterfly’s wings and expands them so they can be strong and used for their intended purpose. Though the one who snipped the chrysalis thought he was being merciful in helping to free the butterfly from its prison, he really doomed it from ever attaining its full potential.

How often do we want to help God along, thinking we know what’s best? It may be for ourselves or someone we know. We hate to see them struggle and wait. So, thinking we are being of help, we intervene.

Often, the bit of struggle is needed to make us strong and able to reach our full potential. Our good intent is really interfering with God’s best for the situation.

It took more than thirty minutes to unravel my tangled yarn. But, the end product was worth the effort.

So if you are tempted to grab the scissors, seek the Lord and ask for His direction for the situation. Sometimes, He needs us to stay out of the way so He can do the work. The result—will be His best!

Consider others who tried to “help” God:

Abraham and Sarah, when after years they still didn’t have a child

Rebecca and Jacob, when the birthright was on the line

Can you think of others?
What experiences have you had with trying to help?
I am with you as I ask for His purpose in my struggles, knowing that He will make us strong enough to fly.


  1. Staying out of His way is something I struggle with a lot. Thanks for this uplifting post...

  2. I think we ALL struggle, Carol. We are human. Thanks for your thoughts


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