Gain from Pain
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
While cleaning some old files off my computer this week, I came across an illustration I had read a while back. Though I have heard the story before,
the application made a new impression on me.
One time a man found a cocoon of an Emperor moth and decided to keep it and watch the beautiful creature emerge. The day came when the moth began to
struggle through the small opening at one end of the cocoon. For many hours, the struggle went on, but it seemed the moth could not force its body
beyond a certain point. At last the watching man decided that something must be wrong, so he took a pair of scissors and carefully clipped the
restraining threads. Then the moth emerged easily, and crawled out to freedom. However, its body was large and swollen, its wings small and shriveled.
The man assumed that in a few hours its wings would develop, but that did not happen. The moth that should have been a beautiful creature that
could float and fly spent its short life dragging around the swollen body and shriveled wings. The struggle to force its way through the tiny opening
had been necessary to push fluids from the moth’s body into its wings. The “merciful” snip of the cocoon undid the very obstacle that would help
the moth fly freely.
Often God allows us to grapple with a difficult circumstance rather than stepping in to remove what we see as an “obstacle.” Of course, He could eliminate
every hindrance and make our lives unfailingly smooth and pleasant. However, as we struggle with hard circumstances, sometimes becoming emotionally,
physically, or spiritually exhausted, changes occur in us that could not happen otherwise. The “fluids” expand our wings and, in time, we can fly.
If God were to cut the struggle short at some crucial point, we might be limited forever, or at least until God gives us another opportunity for
struggle that will accomplish His purpose. When these times come, difficult as they may be, we can remember that God is working something for our
good, and in the end we will be better for it.
Dear Lord, Help me to accept the hard places in life and to recognize that no matter how hard the struggle, You will bring good from it in the end. Amen.