Last summer my wife and I took our two youngest grandchildren to the zoo to see the butterfly exhibit. Connor was about 3, and Elizabeth was eighteen months. In order to get into the exhibit we had to be very careful not to let the butterflies escape. So there were two sets of doors and a waiting area to go through to make sure none escaped. When we finally got in with all the butterflies, they were everywhere, flying from one part of the enclosure to the next. They were all very beautiful and seemed content with each other and us as well. Aside from this there were plenty of leaves and foliage from which to feed, and the temperature inside was just right for them being not too cold or too warm. The conditions were just perfect for these butterflies to thrive in, how could they want anything more?
Yet, at every instance there were a few who were always trying to escape, especially when the exit doors were opened. I remember when we tried to leave some even clung to our clothing and we had to shew them off. Had they been successful in fleeing in this way, they would have died soon after escaping according to the staff. The conditions outside the enclosure would have been just too perilous for them.
In a way these butterflies reminded me of times when I tried in the past to escape the set of circumstances God had provided for me to thrive in with my faith. For whatever reasons, though, I grew tired of where I was in some of those circumstances and wanted to venture out. Had the Lord let me out as I look back, I would have been greatly harmed in my faith. But He didn’t, and because of that I grew in my walk with Him as planned. Therefore my caution to you is to stay where you are until the Lord, Himself, has made it clear for you to leave. And He will, but according to His own timing, when conditions are right, and when you are ready. How do you know when this time comes? The Lord will push you out when the time arrives as He did with the disciples who were sent to all parts of the world to preach the Gospel after the Lord made His exit.
Eventually the butterfly enclosure we visited last summer was closed and shut down. The season of life for those butterflies came to an end, but not before their time was up. Eventually the Lord will move you on to other things and places, but not before your time in what you are doing and experiencing is up. Enjoy what you have while you have it, don’t be so quick to rush out of what God has provided for you to thrive in.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Philippian’s 4:11
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1