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One of the most amazing things to me in all of God’s creation is the butterfly. From gross slimy larvae, to slightly cuter (but still sort of gross) worms, to goo inside a cocoon, to a beautifully colored, light and delicate airborne display of it’s Designer’s creativity. It is truly incredible.
But this post is not about butterflies.
Another incredible process in creation is the making of us. By combining the DNA of one man and one woman, a new person is formed. It grows from one cell (is it really just one cell??) to a cluster, and then more… and somehow in that ball of “goo” is YOU, and ME. Throughout the course of the 35-40 weeks, we gain more of the parts we will need for life in this world, all developing while we live in water!? And by the end, the birth process is designed just right for the separation of mom and baby, till a new, separate, wonderful life has been added to the world.
But this post is not about babies.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
There is definitely a theme of restoration throughout the gospel. It’s what Jesus was all about. He came to “seek and save the lost”. He healed people. So many hurting people. And he loved them. He didn’t turn them away, or heal grudgingly… there are times when it says he healed everyone who came to him, of any malady that might be plaguing them. He could, and he would.
And he does. And I’ve seen it.
I have recently witnessed rebirth. Someone who has for so long been crushed by unwillingness (or inability?) to be loved (by others, and even self) finally having walls broken down, eyes renewed to see all the God is offering through this life lived in Him … years of work He’s done building trust in Him mixed with an intense, four-day weekend of revealing that life to the full that he wants for us all… culminating in a new beginning.
It was the cocoon. It was heart surgery (as well as mind/spirit/soul surgery). It was the final stages of a hard labor.
And we have a butterfly. A healthy patient. A new life.
I read a book recently that brought up the caterpillar-to-butterfly transition. Here’s what it said:
“I love how God has been changing me one small bit at a time. Sometimes I don’t even notice he’s doing that until I’m in a situation and I watch myself respond in ways I never would have before. I am enjoying immensely the [person] he is allowing to emerge.”
“Just like a butterfly taking wing from its cocoon. Isn’t it sad that we thought we could press people into spiritual change, instead of helping them grow to trust Father more and find him changing them? You can’t press a caterpillar into a butterfly mold and make it fly. It has to be transformed from the inside.”
And transform God does. Not just once, at one time, but over the course of our lifetime. That butterfly goes through many stages, and there are noticeable markers along the way, and we do too, but our transformation is a life-long process, a journey. In fact, that’s really what the Kingdom boils down to: a reality that God is inviting us to join him in. A fresh way of looking at him and the world he has made and inhabits, and also a different perspective on us and who he sees us as. We are his friends (Romans 5), his adopted children (Ephesians 1, Galatians 3-4, many more) and it “gave him great pleasure” to give his own life to set us free from sin and shame. Incredible.
When we realize that, we emerge from the cocoon. Still a bit clumsy at first, but a new creation. A completely new creation. Beautiful. Magnificent.
His amazing handiwork.
There are so many ups and downs that life brings (even many of our own doing) but he is there with us in them all, and he continues to mold and shape us from within to be the perfect masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) that he has planned for us to be.
What a process! What an amazing Father!
I love being a butterfly!