But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
When you see motorcyclists wearing those cool leather vests covered in patches and pins, they are not trying to show off all the rallies and places they have been. Nor do they wear them solely for protection from a fall. They are also trying to guard their clothes from bug splatters. One of the difficulties of riding a motorcycle is shielding yourself from the bugs that hover over the road. Insects seem to be attracted to the highway. A small beetle hit at seventy miles an hour feels like a bullet on bare skin. If you have the misfortune to ride through a whole cloud of them, it is like riding through buckshot. Sometimes, I wear shorts in the summer, but not at night because my legs are pelted with moths and flying insects before we make it home. I try not to wear my favorite shirts because bug guts leave marks that will not wash out even with stain remover. A face shield on my helmet is important as well; a bug in the mouth is just plain gross. Once, we were riding in the country. I looked up to see a dark shape headed right towards me. I closed my eyes instinctively and heard a big bang. When I opened them, I was peering through the transparent wing of a swallowtail butterfly. Somehow, it had been forced up under my face shield and one wing was covering my eye while the other was stuck up under my helmet. Dazed, I didn’t know what to do, but fortunately, Glen braked at a stop sign and I was able to get his attention to pull over. Through it all the butterfly stayed plastered to my face, quiet and still. I took off my helmet and picked the butterfly off my glasses. I lifted it up away from me and unbelievably; it started to flap its wings and flew away. Whenever I read these verses, I am reminded of that butterfly. It hit my helmet hard, and I am surprised it did not die. Despite the force of the blow, once freed, it took off into the air and into a nearby pasture. It was hard pressed, but not crushed. I know it was as perplexed as I was to find itself squashed on the side of someone’s face, but it did not despair. As it floated away, it was certainly not destroyed. Like the butterfly in my helmet, sometimes, life treats us harshly. We are crushed and pressed, but those of us in Christ have the promise that neither will we be destroyed. God will give us the power to survive and through it all to glorify Him. Despite the hard hits to our frail and earthly bodies, if we shake ourselves off and keep flying, those around us will be astounded and amazed. I am still thinking about that butterfly. Others will also see your survival. Your testimony of God’s faithfulness will cause them to wonder as well.