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Just look at a butterfly to understand the mystery of suffering.
you feel sorry for a
struggling butterfly and
in empathy, cut the cocoon
helping him escape,
his wings will be end up deformed.
you allow a butterfly
to struggle, emerging slowly agonizingly from his prison,
his wings will be perfectly formed.
My tendency and I think all mother’s tendency is to want to save our children from suffering, from making mistakes. So I try to intellectually explain everything to death. But really, it rook suffering to strip me , heal me and bring me to place of humility where I could finally perceive reality. Do I really think that I can extricate them from the cocoon they are struggling to emerge from. If I do, all that I will do is to stunt their wings, just like when a butterfly is cut from a cocoon too early
One thing I can teach them, though, is that when we act like a victim sacrifice, suffering for our own failings or like a scapegoat who suffers as the result of others sins, we might like to think of ourselves as saintly martyrs but our suffering is anything but holy. There is no act filled with more pride. We are in fact stealing Christ’s job. Christ came to suffer and die on the cross for our sins. He is the sacrificial lamb who takes away all sin. He is like the scapegoat of the Old Testament, burdened by the sins of the people who by his death and resurrection, justifies everyone by the power of His blood in the eyes of God the Father.
It takes humility to realize that our miserable, self-inflicted suffering does not save anyone, least of all ourselves. Accepting Jesus as our Saviour really goes against our grain as human beings because we want to earn our salvation, purify ourselves by suffering out of a misplaced sense of guilt. Ironically it usually takes suffering to break down our ego and pride. Once exhausted by trying to save ourselves, we often must hit bottom before we are desperate enough to change, to let go of our pride and control and surrender in humility to Christ our Saviour. Only the drowning man even realizes that he needs saved, only a sick man grasps the truth that he needs to be healed.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed
Yes there is a place for redemptive suffering but what most of us experience is far from redemptive because our suffering is not in union with Christ’s. Redemptive suffering is not long-faced misery but in fact joyful because it is life-giving and life affirming as we live in, with and through Christ our Saviour. It might involve physical pain but it is lived in the Light, in peace and in joy. When we are no longer the centre of attention but Jesus is the centre; all heavy, psychological despair and mental anguish dissipates like insubstantial mist under the burning sunlight.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB)
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
The Joy of Mothering