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What can the Crecopia moth teach us?

One of the many fascinating events in nature is the emergence of the Cecropia moth from its cocoon—an event that occurs only with much struggle on the part of the moth to free itself. The story is frequently told of someone who watched a moth go through this struggle. In an effort to help—and not realizing the necessity of the struggle—the viewer snipped the shell of the cocoon. Soon the moth came out with its wings all crimped and shrivelled  But as the person watched, the wings remained weak. The moth, which in a few moments would have stretched those wings to fly, was now doomed to crawling out its brief life in frustration of ever being the beautiful creature God created it to be. What the person in the story did not realize was that the struggle to emerge from the cocoon was an essential part of developing the muscle system of the moth’s body and pushing the body fluids out into the wings to expand them. By unwisely seeking to cut short the moth’s struggle, the watcher had actually crippled the moth and doomed its existence. 

- Jerry Bridges
(Source: Trusting God)

What the moth teaches us is that suffering is necessary. The challenges we face in this life are no different from that of the cocoon of the Cecropia moth. God uses them to develop the spiritual “muscle system” of our lives. That is why Apostle Peter says to the churches in Asia Minor, "..for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed..".  And Apostle James agrees, “The testing of your faith [through trials of many kinds] develops perseverance,” and perseverance leads to maturity of our character.  

My challenge is that I am like that person who watched the moth! I often presume full knowledge where I only see a partial picture. My impatience with suffering is therefore much about my inclination to presume omniscience on my part rather than trusting the God who knows the answer!

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

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