The Purpose of Tough Times

Emporer Moth Cocoon poss 002A man once found a cocoon of an emperor moth and took it home to watch it emerge. One day a small opening appeared, and for several hours the moth struggled but couldn’t seem to force its body past a certain point.

The man assumed that something must be wrong, and he decided to speed up the process. Taking scissors, he carefully opened up the cocoon. The moth easily emerged. Its body was large and swollen, and its wings were tiny and shriveled.

He expected that the wings would soon spread out, but they never did. Instead of developing a body that could soar in the air, the moth spent its lifetime dragging itself around with its swollen body and small, withered wings.

What the man didn’t realize is that the constricting cocoon and the struggle to pass through its small opening is just what the moth needed to push the fluid from its body and into its wings. It’s God’s way of enabling the moth to mature into the creature he intended it to be. The man’s action was meant to be an act of mercy, but in fact it did the moth irreparable harm. The struggle was exactly what it needed.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”—James 1:2-4.

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