Nothing becomes truly great until it overcomes something that looks insurmountable. Paul wrote, “I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me” (vv. 8-9 NIV). Great doors of opportunity always come with great challenges, and each challenge calls for greater faith and tenacity. Think about it: if outstanding success came easily, everyone would have it. And if everyone had it, it wouldn’t be outstanding success. How does a caterpillar become a butterfly? By overcoming the cocoon. And the cocoon is so essential to the process that the caterpillar actually creates it. Wouldn’t it be easier just to stay in the warmth and comfort of the cocoon? On days when the caterpillar struggles to get out of it, he probably thinks so! But deep down, he knows the price of freedom. Flight and discovery require struggle, development, and breakthrough. There is no other way! Why did Jesus send His disciples into a life-threatening storm? To teach them to trust Him in all of life’s situations. Soon He would be leaving them, and He was using every experience to prepare them for their future. So what are you struggling to overcome right now? Instead of complaining and asking God to take it away, see it for what it is—preparation. Remember, your level of preparation indicates the level of blessing that awaits you on the other side of it. So if God is opening doors of opportunity for you, be prepared for challenges, because you can’t have one without the other.