Today’s Scripture: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2‑4

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in life is to never sell my struggles short. They may be uncomfortable. They may cause great pain. But they always do me more good than harm.

The emperor moth is a living example of this fact. Before the beautiful moth can come out of its cocoon, it has to squeeze through the cocoon’s narrow neck. As it struggles to break free, it comes to a point where it gets stuck — it looks like it can’t go any farther.

It may look like the moth needs help, but it soon breaks through and is ready to fly in freedom.

Let’s suppose you decided to help the moth through its hardship. With a pair of scissors, you cut off the narrow part of the cocoon so it won’t have any trouble. But as the moth comes out of the cocoon, you notice its body is swollen and its wings are all shriveled up. Even worse, the moth can’t fly. In a few days, it dies.

What went wrong? The struggle the moth went through to escape its cocoon was necessary to force blood into its wings so it could fly. Without it, the moth couldn’t survive.

This is God’s purpose behind the struggles we face in life. Without them, we couldn’t survive. I will even go a step further and say that without them, we can’t thrive in the Christian life. We must learn to patiently endure them instead of looking for an easy way out. That is the way to fly.

Maybe your children are going through a hard time right now. I know from raising my own kids that it’s tempting to try and fix their problems. We can’t interfere with God’s training process. The best thing we can do for them is pray for them in their difficulties. God will use their hardships to develop their character just as He did for you. Trust Him, and He’ll work it out for their good.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder