Laughing, squealing, and a constant barrage of questions filling the air. This is how most of my mornings are spent. Amelia LOVES insects, I mean over the moon kind of obsessed with insects. In fact Amelia will often run up to me with a huge worm crawling on her arm and introduce it as her new friend “Sally”. At this point I am no longer surprised when Amelia comes screaming up the walkway stating that she has a surprise. I brace myself. Breathe. Turn around. Then I force an excited smile because I am against most insects. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate what they do for the environment. I even have a rule, if they are outside they will not be killed but once inside my home all bets are off.
So in order to appease my insect loving child, I decided to order a butterfly kit and watch the whole process from caterpillar to butterfly. What happened next was a changing of my own heart. The kit arrived about two weeks ago. The girls and I eagerly tore into the box and began to assemble the housing structure that would eventually contain the new butterflies. I proceeded to open the container with the caterpillars inside. A note was placed inside their container that stated “BEWARE, CATERPILLARS ARE EXTREMELY FRAGILE”. As I gently rooted around, I found them cowering into a corner. I gently picked one up and it was so small. It was if one small move and I would break it a part. I placed both caterpillars into their new deluxe condo for the next few weeks and the girls and I were like window shoppers on Christmas Eve, waiting in anticipation of the change.
Every morning I would come down to find one particular butterfly chewing ravenously on the leaves of the plant inside his/her container. Seriously, it was like watching someone at all you can eat buffet. He/she just kept eating and eating and eating. Eventually we began to notice that particular caterpillar growing in leaps and bounds. Yesterday I came down and I discovered my new friend, “Harry” (named by Amelia), hanging from the top of the container beginning to shed his skin and form a chrysalis. Amazing. Captivating. Thought provoking.
I have always heard that when someone comes to know Jesus and the love and forgiveness He offers that it is like a butterfly, in that the person turns from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. My experience with Harry taught me something a little different (not that the other is incorrect). You see, I have been struggling to get into God’s Word. I understand and fully believe that it is my life source. His word is the plumbline for my days, the truth that I stand on when things get difficult, and the rest for my weary soul. Do I believe that? If I did, would it not be easier to dive in and eat as though Harry did on the leaves in his container. Harry (the caterpillar) knew that he would need to eat as many leaves as possible in order to prepare for the transformation ahead of him. It will take him up to three weeks to fully transform and in that time he will have not food. That is a lengthy time to not eat. He understood the leaves importance and he ravenously attacked them. Do I approach God’s word like this? Like my life depends upon its very words? When things get difficult and I am without support (people), time, patience, health, money, will I have stored enough of God’s truth in my mind and heart to sustain during those times? When things are going well, will I joyfully read His word and thank Him for the quiet moments spent with Him? Right now I would say no but my heart is beginning to change and my prayer is that my desires will change and that I will lay aside the things that so easily entangle me through the day.
Harry will come out of his chrysalis in a few weeks and he will have transformed into a beautiful butterfly. This process did not happen instantly and without effort on Harry’s part. Harry had to eat in order to prepare. To me, transforming into the butterfly does not happen the moment I accept Christ, it is a process of learning to lean into Him and walk in His ways. When my life is dependent wholly on Him and my days are devoted to loving and obeying Him, then the beauty of who He is creating me to be will begin to shine brightly for all to see.