As Easter draws close, I’ve found myself extremely reflective. One thing in particular that keeps coming to mind are butterflies. Truthfully, I’ve never been drawn to them; I hate bugs of any kind and avoid them at all costs...including butterflies. However, butterflies keep popping up: in nature, in sermons, etc. and I’ve realized that God has been trying to show me something significant. Sometimes it takes me a minute to catch on. Can I get an amen?
One of the only things I can remember clearly from elementary science is the process of a caterpillar being transformed into a butterfly. Like fuzzy slugs, caterpillars go through a process where they eat, eat, and eat some more (I can definitely relate to that part) before they eventually hang themselves upside down and form a chrysalis, or a cocoon. And inside that cocooned place is where the transformation into a beautiful butterfly takes place.
Did you know though, that a caterpillar is already created, or born, with all of the cells it needs to become a butterfly? In its DNA, it contains imaginal discs that only become activated once the caterpillar enters the chrysalis stage. How uniquely amazing is it that God chooses such a small creature to parallel our lives? We are born and divinely created with everything we need to become the butterflies of destiny and purpose that God has intended for us all along!
Sometimes it may seem like the caterpillar is stuck in a redundant routine of eating and filling itself up, but the bigger the transformation, the more food required. How often have I thought of my routine - church, life group, worship, quiet time, praying, reading God’s Word - as redundant and mundane? Far too often, dear one. But my feeding stage, and yours too, is just as critical as the caterpillar’s. Once the caterpillar has consumed what it needs, it enters into the cocoon stage, where it breaks down and catalyzes the imaginal discs that help to form the butterfly.
What we fill up on now is crucial to what we feed on and catalyze in our place of process. The routine serves a purpose; the Word becomes imprinted on hearts and reminds us of who we are in the times of chrysalis when we can’t see it.
So once again in the chrysalis stage, the caterpillar’s body is breaking down what it’s consumed, while also activating the cells that create the features of the butterfly. But, this is all involuntary. Did you know that the caterpillar is actually SLEEPING while this is all going down?! The caterpillar is totally at rest, trusting the design of the very thing it was created to do. If a caterpillar wakes too early in its chrysalis, it runs the risk of deformity, incompletion, and death.
Y’all. When I read that, the Holy Spirit gripped my heart so quickly. I have been so guilty of seeking anything except rest in the midst of process. My chrysalis has been filled with striving, strategizing, and stressing. It’s been filled with fear that I won’t ever make it out of the hidden place, and into the beautiful, transformed place.
But that my friends is the beauty of Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because He died and rose again, completely transformed, there is hope for our transformation too!
Don’t lose heart, our butterfly seasons await.