Springtime burst forth in my own life one year in a very dramatic way. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, I taught 1st grade at a small Christian school in Memphis, Tennessee. The children were a great source of joy to me, and often, I learned more from them than they did from me. I had been teaching the children in our daily devotions to pray about everything, and that yes, indeed, God did hear and answer our prayers. Often I allowed different students to come forward in the class and pray aloud for the concerns that we had discussed. As is often the case, my lessons were soon put to the test.
A precious little blond-headed girl named Coley, came to class one morning with a beautiful butterfly in a jar. We all ooed and awed over the magnificent colors of the butterfly. Coley was quick to point out to everyone that the butterfly had a broken wing. Upon inspection, I could plainly see that a large portion of one of the wings was not just broken, but completely torn off. We placed the jar with the butterfly on the shelf, so that everyone could see it. It remained there for most of the morning. During my break, I went to the prayer room at the church. I locked the door, and knelt before my Lord, and poured out my heart. You see, I was in a winter stage of my life. One of those cold, lonely times when you can’t see clearly how God could possibly bring about all those great and wonderful things that He promises to those who believe and follow Him. I don’t even remember all of the details of that hard time, and it has been so completely healed, that the pain is only a distant memory now. On that day, however, I felt pain and confusion so greatly that I spent my entire break kneeling before the Lord, begging to know His presence in my life.
When I returned to the classroom, we began our Bible lesson. One of the children suggested that we pray for Coley’s butterfly. Not wanting to retract my admonition that we should bring every concern before the Lord in prayer, I consented to a prayer time for the butterfly. When I asked for volunteers to come forward to pray aloud for the butterfly, ¾ of the class quickly stepped to the front, ready to pray. As the children began to pray, my heart started racing. I shot up silent prayers like: “Lord, get me out of this! Give me wisdom in explaining this to these dear children!” You see, the faith-filled prayers of those first graders were: “Lord, please heal the butterfly!” and “Please help the butterfly to fly again!”
When all had prayed, and were returning to their seats, one little boy suggested that we let the butterfly “get some fresh air”. Why I consented, I will never know, but before I even realized what was taking place, the whole class had stepped outside to the grassy courtyard right outside our classroom. When Coley emptied the butterfly from the jar onto the grass, I felt immediate regret in having allowed this to take place. The butterfly just jumped around on the grass. The sight brought pity and sadness and regret. I quickly ushered the children back inside, leaving the butterfly in the grass. I began a math lesson to try to take their minds off the butterfly, but I kept seeing various children glancing out the window, checking on the still-hopping butterfly. I was in the middle of the very ineffective math lesson, when one of the boys stepped away from his seat to look out of the window. He gasped and yelled, “Look!” Everyone rushed from their seats to the window, just in time to see the butterfly lift off the ground in flight. The children began to yell and scream and laugh and cheer and hug, all in pure joy of seeing answered prayer. One of the other first-grade teachers came rushing in to see what all the commotion was about. All I could do was point out the window at the butterfly, which was now flying all over the courtyard. We stood looking in amazement until the butterfly flew over the wall of the courtyard, past our visibility. Then, I once again asked for volunteers to pray. Everyone joined in this time, me especially. We thanked God for His miracle of love, and healing, and answered prayer. And for me, my winter season of life began to quickly lift. You see, I felt like a butterfly with a broken wing. I was a Christian; I had already obtained new life, which is so allegorically portrayed through the life of a butterfly. But painful circumstances had rendered me incapable of flying to the heights that God had planned for me. I, too, needed the healing touch of the Great Physician. I needed to see and feel His Presence. And when I surrendered to Him in the prayer room, when I trusted Him, despite what I could see, He showed me His Presence in a way that was far greater than I could have ever imagined. Are you a butterfly with a broken wing? Call upon the Father, the Great Physician, to heal you, so that you can fly to the heights of His beautiful plan for your life.
Everyone has scars. That is Life’s reality. That will continue to be Life’s reality until Jesus comes back, or we head to our heavenly home. But scars can fade with proper healing. And no counselor, no self-help book, no medication, can heal completely…only Jesus, the Great Physician. When you surrender to the Lordship of Jesus in every area of your life, the surrender does not give you a barrier from the pain or the scars. But it does give you automatic access to the Great I Am; To the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace; To Emmanuel, which means “God With Us”. Jesus is always there to comfort and to heal and to assure us that we are not alone.