The story is told of a little boy who found a caterpillar and brought it home. He built a terrarium and put the caterpillar in it. Soon thereafter, the caterpillar started to build a cocoon and the little boy knew that one day the caterpillar would be a beautiful butterfly.
Each day the little boy checked on the cocoon. And then one day, he noticed a little hole in the cocoon and he knew it would be soon. He watched the butterfly struggle to make the hole larger and get out. When he could not stand the struggle of the butterfly any longer, he took a pair of scissors and very carefully cut open the hole so the butterfly could get out. The butterfly emerged, but her wings were small and weak, she never did fly.
What the boy realized later was that part of the butterfly’s metamorphosis was the struggling. In order to have strong wings and be able to fly, the butterfly needed to work its way through that hole on its own. Even though the boy was only trying to help, in the end, he hurt the butterfly.
Many times, we do the same. If given the choice between a difficult path or an easy path, we choose the easy. It is not pleasant to struggle and suffer. It is also not easy to watch our children struggle, we ache for them, but it is in the struggle that they learn. It is strange to think that trying times are not necessarily a bad thing, it is from where growth comes. It seems to me that maybe God uses life’s difficulties to help us grow into stronger and better people. You know the old saying, what does not kill you makes you stronger, or it builds character.
So the next time you are tempted to fix a difficulty for your child, think again. Let them learn, for the learning is in the struggle!