Butterflies! Aren’t they beautiful? I love to watch them and have even planted some flowers to attract them. My spirit relates to them…to the way God created them…to the process of “becoming”.
I love the beauty of the journey of the caterpillar as it becomes what it is destined to be: a beautiful butterfly … flying free. It is a perfect picture of the process through which we journey in order to become all that God created us to be. This journey is difficult at times but it is in the struggle that we “become.”
There are four stages in the transformation process that gives off the beauty of a butterfly flying free. The first stage is the egg stage … the female butterfly lays eggs on plants … tiny, tiny eggs. Something amazing is beginning in that small, cramped and dark place.
In our transformation, we go through stages that may seem small and cramped and dark and insignificant … but each stage or season has purpose.
Our beginning (as believers) started with an egg as well. God intricately created each of us and went to great extent to create us with purpose. One of my favorite Scriptures is found in the Psalms. It has brought so much healing and freedom into my life … and it can do the same for you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:13-16 (New Living Translation)
You may feel small … and stuck in a dark place, cramped and insignificant … but that is not what God sees. It is so awesome to know that God … the one true and living God … He created you! He did not spare even the smallest detail in His creation of you. You ARE wonderfully complex. You can look at yourself in the mirror and see and acknowledge His marvelous workmanship in you.
And notice that He wrote a book about YOU before you ever were! He planned for you in detail! You have purpose … you have a God-planned destiny!
You are His masterpiece!
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (New Living Translation)
Not only are you His masterpiece, He also makes you new in Him so that you CAN do the GOOD things He planned for you to do a long time ago!
Did you know that God actually chose you; you didn’t choose Him?!?
“Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—“
Ephesians 1:4-5 (Amp)
He picked you out for Himself … as His very own! He planned for you in love to be His … His child.
God not only planned for you, He has plans FOR you … and they are good plans. They are plans to give you a future. His plans are to give you a hope.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (New Living Translation)
There is no need to ever get to the place of no hope because His plans for you are to be sure you have a hope!
The second stage of the transformation to become a butterfly is that of hatching from the dark, cramped egg to be a chubby caterpillar. My guess is that the chubby caterpillar might wonder what God was thinking when He created him, a slow moving, not so pretty creature that crawls around chewing on leaves, just getting fatter. But God has a plan … God has a purpose.
Many times we look at ourselves and wonder what God was thinking when He created us … But God has a plan … God has a purpose … for YOU and for me. He is preparing us for something greater than we can see!
Then comes the cocoon stage … And I’m pretty sure that caterpillar probably thinks life is over when it seemingly ends all wrapped up tightly in that dark, cramped cocoon. And then its body parts completely break down into a liquid state and are reframed into the wings and body of a beautiful butterfly. But the caterpillar can’t see what God sees.
Do you fill all wrapped up in a dark, cramped place? Sometimes we are being broken down so that we can be reframed (or transformed) into whom and what God created us to be. Remember, you can’t see what God sees!
I love this story about the butterfly…
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress.
It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.
But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly. What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
The final stage of the transformation is possibly the hardest and the most painful. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. When we force things to avoid the struggle … or when others release us from the struggle prematurely, we are, in reality, being held back from achieving our freedom … from gaining the strength we need to fly. The restrictions…the struggles are part of the process of “becoming”. If God allowed us to go through all our life without any obstacles, that would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.
Not only that, we could never fly. And God created you and me to fly!
Wherever you are in your life … however ugly you may feel … however bad things may seem … there is a beautiful butterfly on the inside of all you struggling and pushing to be freed. You are struggling and pushing to become the beautiful butterfly God created you to be … to fly free.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over … that life was ending, it didn’t give up, it continued to push and struggle…and this amazing thing happened…it became a beautiful butterfly, flying free!
In like manner, just when you think your world has come to an end … God has other plans … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. His plan is to complete you.
So push! Struggle! Keep pushing and struggling until you break free to be the beautiful, amazing, purpose-filled person God has created you to be.
This scripture always encourages me and gives me hope…
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
Philippians 1:6 (Amplified Bible)
I call this the Completion Process! In the process, KNOW…
1. Know that God will never give up on you.
2. Know that He is the One who begins the good work in you.
3. Know that He will keep working on you: developing the good work He started.
4. Know that He will perfect that good work in you and will bring it to full completion in you.
And you will break out of your cocoon with beauty and strength … and you willfly free and high with purpose … because that is what He put on the inside of you. That is what He has been pulling out of you … through the caterpillar stage … through the cocoon stage.
We don’t always see the plan. We aren’t always filled with hope. We don’t always see the amazing creation we are. We don’t always see ourselves as a masterpiece. That is because we are involved in a process … a process very similar to that of the butterfly … a process to transform us: first on the inside and then on the outside.
But there is one thing different between us and the butterfly. The butterfly goes through metamorphosis only once; it fulfills its purpose and then dies. You and I, however, go through many metamorphoses during our lifetimes as He continues to complete the good work He began in us.
Always remember that in every stage of the process, God is for you; He is not against you. He loves you! He wants to bless you! He wants you healed, whole, and free … free to be the person He created you to be. Don’t give up in the struggle. The struggles are just what you need to break free and to be the strong, amazing person that He knew was inside of you since before you ever were … because He is the One who created You!
Fly Butterfly! Fly High!