Jesus once spoke of the narrow gate leading the difficult way to heaven and the broad road taken by so many which leads to hell. The history of God’s people and our own lives verifies that this so. But why is the destination of heaven so difficult to achieve? One way of examining this is can be found in nature.
Consider the chrysalis of the butterfly. It is the act of struggling to be free of the chrysalis that gives the new butterfly’s wings the strength required to fly. In the same way, we have the seed of saving faith in new birth. But birth is an arduous journey. It involves pain and struggle. Jesus, in speaking of the narrow way to his disciples was trying to warn them that they would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven without first paying a heavy cost. As the butterfly is born of the struggle to be free of the chrysalis, so is true discipleship born of struggle. The wings of true faith are strengthened by trials, testing and tribulation. A new butterfly’s wings carry the potential for flight. The struggle which ensues as it exits the chrysalis ensures that the wings are conditioned for actual flight.
As it is with the butterfly, so it is with us. As we set our feet upon the narrow path which Jesus spoke of, many obstacles will be encountered. Each is designed to strengthen faith and dependency upon God, thereby ensuring our ability to fly free of the old life and into the new one of unlimited joy and freedom. The gift of eternal life is one freely given to all by faith. Yet faith is something not easily achieved in the absence of significant pain and struggle. So when you face trials, rejoice and be glad! Your Father in Heaven is strengthening your wings for the long journey home.