It was an unusual gift. The family was given a caterpillar in a small container. They were told how to care for it and that in a few weeks the larva would become a monarch butterfly.
The children were fascinated to watch as the caterpillar attached to a stem and encased itself in a silky chrysalis. Most of the time this chrysalis or pupa, appeared dormant. Once or twice they saw it shake. This movement let the family know something was happening inside.
When the timing was right, the butterfly fought to emerge. It had to push the fluid into its wings in order to make them strong. Drops of red fluid that looked like blood appeared on the bottom of the enclosure. Any attempts to intervene and minimize the struggle could prove fatal.
This process had a correlation to my life. Even when nothing seems to be happening, my life is not dormant. God is constantly working within. He is preparing me for what lies ahead.
The struggles I face are not pleasant but I know that each one helps me to grow stronger as I rely on God to complete the transformation he has started. When the timing is right, he will enable me to soar, as the butterfly did when it was set free.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT)
Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. (2 Corinthians 5:17 GWT)
My son enjoys bringing flowers to his wife. One bouquet contained something unexpected that kept the whole family enthralled. Attached to one of the stems was a chrysalis or cocoon.
My granddaughters were fascinated to have this nature lesson right in their house. The first day it was a clear sac with a smooth green caterpillar inside. On the following day, this sac held a black shriveled version of the caterpillar. The transformation had begun and the excitement was mounting.
Day by day they checked to see what was happening. The cocoon remained clear enough that the contents could be seen. No change was visible in the shriveled black creature inside. The transformation was happening deep within and not where human eyes could see.
This reminded me of a transformation that occurred in my life. The Lord took my good life and changed it into something so much better. This was also done on the inside, where no eye could see. My heart became more loving. I became more accepting. As the changes occurred, I was able to give more and more of my life to Jesus. He has taken my willing heart and is transforming it into something that can be used for his glory. The metamorphosis is not yet complete. I am excited to see what he has in store for me next.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
I have frequently looked at the makeover stories in magazines and wondered what it would be like to experience one of these makeovers. Before and after pictures capture a remarkable transformation. The first picture usually shows a woman in drab clothing with no makeup and unkempt hair. The follow-up pictures show a beautiful woman who not only looks younger and thinner, but also has a fabulous wardrobe.
It all looks wonderful, but I wonder if it is something that can be maintained when all of the stylists are not there to help.
Thinking about this, I realize that I have undergone a complete makeover that had nothing to do with a magazine contest. When I gave my life to Jesus, he transformed me from the inside out. He took my drab, boring life and turned it into something far more beautiful than anything I could ever have imagined.
This was not a temporary change, but a permanent one. I don’t need a team of stylists to maintain this makeover. Jesus is my constant companion and when I walk with him; my life is anything but drab.
Looking back, I see just how big a transformation has occurred. The most exciting part of this is that I know he’s not finished with me yet.
. . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3 NIV