"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
When I was a kid, I read a story about moths, and how they became brown. It became one of my favorite myths- I loved the explanation of it... The magic that surrounded it. And since reading it, moths have been my favorite insect.
The story goes that the moths were once beautiful like the butterflies, full of vibrant colors that lit up the sky. Then one day, the moths stumbled across a sad little child who started to cry, and cried and cried. The child cried so much, the world began to flood. Desperate to cheer the child up, the moths tried everything that they could fathom, but the crying did not stop. So one moth suggested that they all flap their wings in the sky and create a rainbow, one to make the child's pain stop. They got to work on their project, but half way through, they realized they weren't making enough color. Though they asked the butterflies for help, they refused to give up their color. So the moths flapped harder, until finally, the rainbow lit the sky. It worked- the child stopped crying. But all the moths have given up all their color. They were left with only brown, which did not fit into their design.
Yes, I understand that it's just a story. And no, I don't actually believe that this particular story has any truth to it. But I always thought that it had a a good quality, and so I've remembered it all this time. And I know that moths eat cloths, and I know they aren't very smart, but I always kind of liked them anyway.
Flash to tonight- I'm sitting in the dusk in my room. I never turn the light on during dusk, because even though it's dark, it's not dark enough to want to shut out the world. In the summer, the dusk is cool and calming, and I hate to destroy it with man made brightness.
I had a visitor tonight, however, who didn't love the dusk the way I do. One lonely moth flew around my room in a tizzy, anxious to get out before it got dark. In a moment of desperation, he flew onto the window.
Now normally, when a moth gets into my room, I open the door to the hall and turn the light on, and out they go. But tonight, watching my little buddy staring longingly out the window, I realized he didn't want the hall. He just wanted to get outside. And his chances were not very good. In a fit of compassion, I realized that it was my job to get him out. I grabbed some paper, and tried to scoot it under the little guy so I could bring him to the window.
Unfortunately, my little friend was stubborn.
Try and try again, he didn't want to get on the piece of paper. Or the cardboard. Or anything else that I tried to get him out on. Suddenly I realized that if I was going to get him out, I was going to have to trap him first, and then bring him to the window.
Grabbing a plastic container, I stuck it over where he sat, and used the paper to get him to jump inside. Startled, the little guy sat on the floor of the container while I brought him to the window, opened the screen, and let him out into the freedom that he most desired.
I spent the whole night working on things that needed to be done, but this was my greatest accomplishment.
It's also (suprise surprise) a good lesson that we can learn about God. Sometimes, when we most want something, he nudges and nudges us to get there. And when we are stubborn, sometimes he has to trap us in, temporarily, until he can lead us to freedom. But ultimately, he knows what we want, and he can get us there.
I hope my little moth friend got a good flight in before dark. I know that when God has had to capture me to his will, he's brought me to freedom on the other side. And I'm glad that he teaches me these things even in the simplist terms.
Once upon a time, I read that moths lost their colors in a fit of mercy and compassion. Tonight, in the same test, I saw God's true colors revealed.