15. Struggling is good for you (1)

I received a lovely email over the weekend and would like to share it with you. The writer is unknown, but in his/her absence I would like to thank him/her for this wonderful message.

A British environmentalist, Alfred Wallace, one day picked up the cocoon of a moth and took it home. After a while there was movement inside the cocoon and he noticed that the moth was trying to get out. The moth was struggling and wriggling and truly battling to get out of the small opening of the pear shaped cocoon. Alfred was watching this struggle and he felt sorry for the moth. He decided to help him and he carefully cut open the cocoon with a knife and freed the moth. When the moth came out, he had small wings and his body appeared to be swollen. Alfred thought that it was only temporary and that the moth's wings will grow and that he will be able to fly away in no time. But this didn't happen. The moth did try to fly, but he couldn't get it right and he died within a day or two.

Alfred tried to do good by helping the moth, but at the end of the day he didn't help him at all. Alfred didn't know that the moth needed to struggle to get out of the cocoon in order to extract fluids from his body into his wings, to help the moth to be able to fly when he gets out of the cocoon. He needed this struggling process in order to survive. Alfred helped him in the short term, but caused his death in the long term.

The same is true with our children. Our children will go through similar painful processes during their lives. They will struggle and they will wriggle and they will try to free themselves from the 'cocoon' they find themselves in. It will be a very painful process, something that will cause us as parents to cry. We will hate seeing them suffer. And our first instinct will be to cut open the cocoon and free them from the pain. We will automatically do our best to make it as easy for them as possible. But we will deny our child the opportunity to grow. We will deny them the lessons that they can learn from it. They will never learn that their own choices have consequences, they will never learn perseverance, they will always sit back and wait for someone to free them from the cocoon, they will not believe in themselves and believe that they can make it out of there on their own. They will never be able to test their own abilities; they will never know what it feels like to spread their wings.

Gary Thomas writes in his book 'Sacred Parenting' that a parents deepest hurt is also the child's most important one.

As difficult as it may be to see your child suffer, sometimes it is better to leave them in the short term, in order for them to grow in the long term. I know it is easier said than done, but luckily we have a heavenly Father who would help us. He knows best and will give is the strength to go through the struggling process.

Thank you Father that You designed nature that way, that we need to struggle in order to bring out the best in us. If it was too easy, we would never have been able to shine the jewel inside us all. Amen

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