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More on patience

10 Jan

As if to emphasize the memory verse for this week, this is what I read in my morning devotion from Streams in the Desert. I also noticed that God included a verse in Hebrews, which is the online class I started on Monday. So, yeah, I hear ya, Lord – this one is for me.

Made Perfect Through Sufferings

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).

I kept for nearly a year the bottle-shaped cocoon of an emperor moth. It is very peculiar in its construction. The neck of the bottle had a narrow opening through which the mature insect forces its way. Therefore the abandoned cocoon is as perfect as one still inhabited with no tearing of the interlacing fibers having taken place. The great disproportion between the size of the opening and the size of the imprisoned insect makes one wonder how the exit is ever accomplished at all. Of course it is never accomplished without great labor and difficulty. It is believed that the pressure to which the moth’s body is subjected in passing through such a narrow opening is nature’s way of forcing the juices into the vessels of the wings, since they are less developed at the time of emerging from the cocoon than they are in other insects.

I happened to witness the first efforts of my imprisoned moth to escape from its long confinement. All morning I watched it patiently striving and struggling to be free. It never seemed able to get beyond a certain point, and at last my patience was exhausted. Very probably the confining fibers were drier and less elastic than if the cocoon had been left all winter on its native habitat, as nature meant it to be. In any case I thought I was wiser and more compassionate than its Maker, and I resolved to give it a helping hand. With the point of my scissors I snipped the confining threads to make the exit just a little easier, and lo! immediately, and with perfect ease, out crawled my moth dragging a huge swollen body and little shriveled wings. In vain I watched to see that marvelous process of expansion in which these silently and swiftly develop before my eyes; and as I traced the exquisite spots and markings of various colors which were all there in miniature, I longed to see these assume their ultimate size. I looked for my moth, one of the loveliest of its kind,  to appear in all its perfect beauty. But I looked in vain. My misplaced tenderness had proved its ruin. It never was anything but a stunted abortion, crawling painfully through that brief life which it should have spent flying through the air on rainbow wings.I have thought of  my moth often, especially when watching with pitiful eyes those who were struggling with sorrow, suffering, and distress. My tendency would be to quickly alleviate the discipline and give deliverance. Short-sighted man! How do I  know that one of these pangs or groans could be spared? The far-sighted, perfect love that seeks the perfection of its object does not weakly shrink from present, transient suffering. Our Father’s love is too true to be weak. Because He loves His children, He “disciplines us that we may share in His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). With this glorious end in view, He does not relieve our crying. Made perfect through sufferings, as the Elder Brother was, we children of God are disciplined to make us obedient and brought to glory through much tribulation. –from a tract

I wonder…how many moths have I stunted because of my impatience? I know there was one, okay, maybe two circumstances that I have forced to happen and the results were much like the aborted growth of the moth.  Not pretty and mingled with a lot of pain.
There were also times when my desire to help someone out of a tight situation made them miss out on a lesson God is trying to teach them. Not only did they miss out on God’s work in their life the first go round but guess what – they had to go through the same painful process again.
In both cases I see now that my impatience not only affected me but it affected someone else as well. I would never want to be a hindrance to what God has planned for somebody else. I really need to remember that. 

P.S. Ironically, my patience was again tried  this morning by this very post!  Get  thee behind me, satan. It seems WordPress does like to do hard returns and paragraph breaks. I happen to like using them.  So, I had to research html codes.  The upside? I learned something new. Whether it worked or not,  I’m hitting “publish” anyway.