Rethinking How We View Hardships, Struggles and Challenges

I saw the following post this afternoon from Leonard Sweet on Google+:

19th century British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace tells of observing several cocoons, waiting for the moths to come out. One of the larger moths was beating desperately with its yet undeveloped wings to break out of the cocoon. After several hours, Wallace could not bear to watch anymore. so with a sharp knife he split the cocoon, freeing the moth from its desperate struggle. In the ensuing days, however, as he observed this moth, he discovered that it was not developing naturally. Missing were the beautiful tints and shades of color that should have come into its wings. The wings’ growth seemed stunted, underdeveloped, and in a few days the moth died, long before its time. Wallace discovered that his compassion was actually cruelty, since the struggle against the cocoon was nature’s way of strengthening and developing the moth’s wings so it could fly.

Wow. What a perspective on how we view hardships, struggles and challenges. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed for certain hardships to pass quickly to save myself some frustration. I wonder how much more I could mature in Christ if I embraced these times of difficulty and allowed God’s will to be accomplished without putting up a fight or taking the easy way out. Rest assured, the crucified life in not an easy one. Following Christ is a rough, bumpy road that’s full of potholes. Let us submit our anxieties to the Lord and leave them in His hands rather than getting impatient and picking them back up again.

What are you thoughts on the above passage?


5 thoughts on “Rethinking How We View Hardships, Struggles and Challenges

  1. wayne woodrum says:

    My comment is that this message is so contrary to the presumed typology of “peace” that seems to be so sought after these days. How can there be peace with so much struggling going on…wouldn’t it be better if nobody had to struggle? I just finished a new biography of Bonhoeffer (Metaxas) and it referenced his message about peace. It doesn’t equate security. That’s it in a nutshell, but I am not saying you won’t struggle with that definition, I am saying peace is the strength in the struggle. (John 14:27)

  2. John Wilson says:

    great thought brother, so true, like the Sweet quote, 🙂

  3. Quincy Zikmund says:

    Well said Wayne, thanks. Another way I look at that is with the reference to having the peace that surpasses all understanding after submitting our anxieties to the Lord (Philippians). We can have peace in Christ regardless of what’s going on outside or among us. We should always strive for peace in our community as well, but whether we reach that or not, we can and do have peace in Christ. Our hope is in Him, not what’s happening around or to us.

    My wife recently read that Bonhoeffer biography as well and loved it. I hope to read it myself eventually 🙂

  4. Dan Perez says:

    I loved the story about the moth. Having gone through a fair share of challenges with my wife’s health, one thing it has certainly done is make our family stronger and bring us closer together.
    I’ve learned through the years that there’s what we want and then there’s God’s will for us. I’ve learned to trust Him and accept His will – even when it ain’t exactly what I’d want.
    Nicely done…

  5. Quincy Zikmund says:

    Thanks Dan. I’m glad to hear that you can see the good that has come out tough situations. There’s so much that we don’t see sometimes but in the end, if our focus and hope is in Christ through and through, He works all things out according to His purpose.

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