I simply adore butterflies. Their beauty is captivating. The Lord carefully crafted each one meticulously to be delicate, enchanting, wispy, winged and simply delightful. I have chased butterflies through many flowery fields, nature parks & preserves and the backyards of total strangers in order to capture their innocent beauty in photographs. I have a few timeless images that I cherish and display, because you see, the beautiful soaring butterfly has not always been so stunning. And I treasure the reminder that God alone can transform a lowly, furry worm into a magnificent, winged creature of immaculate brilliance.
I write every message from a heart that sees the hand of God at work in the ordinary. When you look for Him, you will always find Him. Moment by precious moment, we should seek His presence with every breath so that we may soar on colorful wings in peace and comfort, looking for a pretty place to land, just like the little butterfly. I have not always known the significance of the butterfly’s existence. In fact, I was but a lowly worm myself once.
Transformation of the caterpillar to the butterfly is not an extreme makeover, a sudden overnight miracle that alters its physical appearance and makes it more beautiful outwardly in an instant. But rather, transformation is a somewhat lengthy and arduous progression that leaves the butterfly in a permanently altered physical state with new skills, talents, and gifts. Once the process is complete, the butterfly can achieve measures of success it couldn’t otherwise accomplish as a caterpillar. The butterfly’s territory is enlarged as it takes flight and it can do far more with its beauty and its wings than without.
I like to think of God’s sons and daughters as undergoing this same process of transformation. We are sinful by nature and living Godly in a fallen, sinful world is not easy. In fact, Jesus promised us it would be very difficult. John 16:33 reads “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus did not teach us in such a way that we may live forever in fear, or that we may hear the Word and not “DO” the word, or that we may live in such a way that we never know the freedom for which He died to give us.
Jesus taught so that we may live an abundant life of joy confidently resting in the knowledge that no matter how difficult the battle, that the war was won long before it ever began.
More importantly, that once our transformation from worm to wing begins and consequently is complete, that we may live to our fullest capacity with all the spiritual gifts God intended for His glory, traveling the entire portion of our intended territory, and reaching as many of the lost as we can so that they too may enjoy the journey.
That is what I want for you today. I lived life as a worm and found it lacking. I found myself in a season of painful metamorphosis after seeking the face of the Lord like never before, knowing I couldn’t continue slinking so low to the ground and surviving. As a worm, I was in constant fear. Fear of being crushed by the weight of big sins for such a small creature. Fear of having no voice to cry out when predators tried to devour me; fear of actually surviving in such a state with no talents or gifts or ways to reach out to others; a life of loneliness and emptiness. Even the heart of a worm can have a God sized hole in the center that nothing can fill but God Himself.
Do not live your life as a worm when you can soar on the magnificent wings of a butterfly. The transformation is long, painful and no one can rescue you from it. The butterfly in you will emerge when the Lord has done His work in you.
I know the process of transformation begins automatically at a certain stage in the life of the caterpillar. But for us, we must take a significant and drastic first step of initiation.
Ask the Lord to transform you. It is that simple. Recognize your sins for what they truly are. Repent and turn away from them. You cannot live the life of a butterfly if you are clinging to the dirt of the worm.
Seek Him in everyday life. Look for His messages while shopping, playing with your children, carpooling, homeschooling, in traffic, in your workplace, at the park; everywhere.
Seek His blessings in every trial. God is trying to teach you something significant when He allows trials. He wants to develop your strength, character and integrity so that when you emerge from His protective cocoon you can lead others to the process that transformed you into flight.
Thank Him for His presence. Not for His presents. He knows what you need, and will give you everything you ask for according to His will. But He longs to hear that you appreciate Him and choose to serve Him even if He gave you nothing.
The Lord, our God will give you wings. But you have to let go of the life of the worm.
The butterfly does not crawl in the dirt.