Where's the Scent?
"The Lord disciplines those he loves … for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."1
Earl Nightingale told how on one National Secretaries Day he gave his secretary flowers and she remarked how beautiful they were. She also said that she couldn't understand why they didn't have any scent.
He informed her that the flowers came from a hothouse and explained that because flowers raised in this type of environment have everything done for them, they don't have to attract insects to pollinate them. As a result they lose their scent. In the same way fruit raised in a hothouse, because it doesn't need to attract insects to scatter its seeds, doesn't taste as good as fruit grown in its natural environment.
It's similar to the child who wanted to help a butterfly out of its cocoon by putting a slit in it and, in so doing, caused it to die. He didn't realize that the struggle to get out of the cocoon is needed to strengthen the butterfly's wings so that it is able to fly.
When people do too much for us or overprotect us, especially in our early developmental years, they can do serious harm to us. And even in adulthood it's the problems and difficulties we have that strengthen us, build character, give wisdom, understanding, and compassion—if we let them. Note, too, that if we ask God to give us wisdom and guidance, he will, but he won't overprotect us from the things we need to help and make us grow—and to teach us wisdom!
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me not to run from my fears, trials, and problems but accept them as opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer, Gratefully in Jesus name, amen."
1. Hebrews 12:6, 10-11 (NIV).