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The Cocoon

One of the constant questions among God’s people is why God doesn’t step in and help us in the steady flow of dilemmas, hardships and tragedies of life.  It seems like it would be so easy for God to quickly pick us up, heal the hurts, smooth things out and get us going again.

The following story is like a parable.  It is true, but the meaning we can glean from it is bigger than the world of moths and butterflies.  The carry over to our own lives and how, no doubt, God resists stepping in for very beneficial reasons, comes through sharply. After reading it, ponder its application to everyday life, in God’s mysterious and wonderful creation.

The story goes like this:

A man came home one day and discovered a moth cocoon near his door.  He became curious and wanted to watch the moth emerge, so he took it inside and put it in a warm place.  In a few days the moth began to break through the tip of the cocoon.  It made a small hole in the top and then seemed to stop unable to free itself further.  As the man watched, he became impatient and worried because the moth was making no progress in breaking free and emerging.  In an effort to be helpful, the man took a little scissor and cut a larger hole in the top of the cocoon. It helped.

However to the man's dismay, the moth emerged with a large, bloated body and small, withered wings.  It couldn't fly and had great difficulty managing its unwieldy body.

Perplexed the man inquired of a friend who taught Biology at a nearby high school.  The teacher explained that in his efforts to make it easier for the moth, he had not realized the central role that a seemingly insurmountable effort played in the emergence of a healthy, viable, adult moth.  It was essential for the moth to struggle, at its own speed, through the small hole at the top of the cocoon. The process of squeezing through the hole forced the liquid out of the moth's body into its wings.  Under normal circumstances, by the time an adult moth has struggled through the small hole in the top of the cocoon, its body becomes smaller and its wings become strong and large enough to support it in flight. Effort and struggle comprise the key to healthy development for the adult moth.

It is helpful to apply this lesson from nature to the way human life goes.  Almost always the struggles of life are necessary pre-requisites to growing into the kind of people God intends us to be.

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