Butterflies are so stunning we forget they’re insects that are renewed.
Humbly, they first begin as caterpillars. Crawling from leaf to leaf, they eat for growth and survival. From a human perspective, this stage is a tricky one to appreciate. Their design, their movements, finding caterpillars tucked into the tiniest nooks and crannies may cause our minds to think something is crawling on us. Undetected.
A caterpillar will cocoon itself in a self-constructed chrysalis within a couple of weeks. Safely hidden, a metamorphosis happens. The caterpillar’s body changes as wings grow and delicate legs stretch. After 8-15 days, the chrysalis starts to rumble from the inside out, as the butterfly emerges.
It’s a painstaking process. The struggle is intense as the compacted butterfly struggles to emerge from its hardened shell.
The butterfly must emerge on its own to strengthen its wings. During the struggle, necessary fluids are pumped from the stomach to the wings, enabling the butterfly to fly when the time is right. Usually within hours of emerging.
As tempting as it might be to stretch the opening or to cut the top off the chrysalis, we should resist. Our good intentions will cripple the butterfly for life. If we help by skipping this final step of the renewal process, the butterfly will never fly.
In John 3:3,6,&7, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God… Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ “
If we want to see God’s Kingdom, we must be born again.
We need to be renewed.
Like a caterpillar, we may start by feasting on God’s Word. Spending time daily in His presence, for our growth and our survival.
Next, in our cocooning stage, the Holy Spirit helps transform us from the inside out. Our thinking is challenged as our hearts and minds undergo makeovers. We fight to surrender sinful habits and break strongholds. We wrestle with softening our hearts to accept God’s unconditional love and then learn how to love others—particularly those we don’t understand.
As it’s time to emerge, we work to strengthen our trust in Him. We face challenges and temptations, designed by the enemy to distract us from God. To feed doubts and fears. At this stage, we should be cautious to let each person have their own experience with God.
Though our intentions may be good if we push or pull without God’s directive; if we weaponize scripture to force a decision; if we mock or belittle someone without giving the Holy Spirit a chance to work; if we hurry beyond God’s timeline; we risk crippling others.
It’s not too late to begin with God.
Or to begin again.
From March 18 to April 26, we’re gathering at 6 AM (CDT) for 40 days of prayer. The theme for this session is Renew. One of our main prayer focuses is on youth and young adults. Whether it’s the first time or the umpteenth time, we all need renewal.
Cards with space for your prayer lists and a daily tracker are available at church or download now.
Click the button below to join on Zoom. (For audio-only, please dial 204 272 7920, and use the Zoom ID).
We look forward to seeing you there.