Sometimes life presents struggles and hardships that seem unfair, and certainly unwanted. Perhaps today as you listen, you’re in the middle of one of life’s struggles or you’re witnessing someone you love struggle, and more than anything you just want to find a way out. You want to break free. You want life to return to normal. You want the storms to cease and the calm to return.
I’ve been there too. Begging God to remove the struggle. And he didn’t. Why? In all his majesty and power, why wouldn’t he stop the raging storms in my life? I mean if I’m really his beloved and precious daughter, and if he’s the Daddy I thought he was, why wouldn’t he rescue my family from this struggle? I’ve since learned the tremendous purpose in it all, the purpose today which was much bigger and greater than my struggles of yesterday. God wasn’t absent, he was omnipotent, and he was using his power in the greatest of ways in the middle of it all.
There’s a story of a man rescuing an emperor moth, perhaps you have heard it. As I share this story, I wish I could give credit to the author, but it’s a 20 year old printed piece of paper titled “Struggles In Our Lives” my dear friend found in her mother’s belongings as she prepares for her memorial service this weekend. A letter which perhaps comforted her mother during a struggle many years ago, perfectly preserved and placed for her daughter to find as she struggles after losing her mama. Isn’t that just the way our God works? So mysteriously random, yet so strategically specific.
“A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force its body through that little hole.
Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as fa as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck. Then the man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The moth then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth, expecting that at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened. In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What this man in his kindness and haste did now understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. FREEDOM AND FLIGHT WOULD ONLY COME AFTER THE STRUGGLE. By depriving the moth of the struggle, he deprived the moth of health.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, he would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. Our potential is only revealed through the fight. No fight, no flight. You want to rise up and soar in life? You want to reach new levels and experience life to it’s fullest? STOP AVOIDING THE STRUGGLE.
Romans 8:18 says ” I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
What is God trying to reveal in you that only comes after the present suffering? I bet it’s something remarkable. And I bet it will be worth it!
Today we seek the shortcut and the hack in everything. How can I zoom through this as fast as possible to get to the next thing? How can I make this easier so that I can not only do this thing, but I can do 5 other things at the same time? Let’s microwave it, auto-pilot it, skip it, on demand it, or hack it. And oh what have we sacrificed in our desire to always make life easier? Have we missed that life was never meant to be easy? Have we missed that God had a divine purpose in it all?
In the struggle.
In the wait.
In the restriction.
In the setback.
Yes, just as the restriction of the cocoon and the struggle required to be free was for a purpose in the life of the moth, so is your struggle. You’re not being punished, you’re being propelled. You’re being strengthened. Now is the time you get to see God in his infinite wisdom and omnipotent mighty ways say WAIT FOR IT … WAIT FOR IT … WAIT FOR IT.
May we not rush in with scissors to cut our way out. May we not seek ease and comfort this time. May we be willing to struggle right through it, fight our way out, then spread those big ol’ mighty wings and soar in the life we were created for. May we boldly embrace any hardships of today, fully trusting God knows exactly what he is doing!