Today, the sun was shining, I could see grass, and my children were talking about butterflies. All signs of the coming of Spring! It is exciting!
As we rode in the car and my children were talking about butterflies, ok so they were arguing about whether they are butterflies first or caterpillars first, but that's beside the point. Naturally, I started explaining to them the process, in children's terms, of how caterpillars become butterflies. But this time, it was a little different.
This time I realized I was describing, not just the transformation of butterflies, but the transformation we go through when we come to know Christ.
I looked up the process of metamorphosis, just to get a more in-depth view of what exactly happens. When the egg hatches, the caterpillar is barely visible. All it does is eat milkweed leaves, and soon it reaches it's full grown state. It eventually leaves the milkweed plant and distances itself about 30-40 ft. away, where it begins to pupate. At this point it creates a silk-like mat and hangs there upside down, in a J shape for a full day. It then sheds it's skin to form it's chrysalis. Inside the chrysalis, the caterpillar undergoes major changes: the mouth parts go from being parts made for chewing to straw-like for sipping nectar, and a crawling insect will become a flying one. When it emerges from the chrysalis, it's wings are limp and wet, so it clings to the shell of the chrysalis (now called the hemolyph) to fill it's body and wings with blood. For about an hour after it detaches, the butterfly still cannot fly, making it most vulnerable to prey. But once it can fly, it begins feeding off flowers and looking to begin the process all over again.
We start out just like those caterpillars, filling ourselves with all this world has to offer. At some point, God pulls us away from what we know and shows us the truth of His Son who died on the cross for us (how cool that it hangs in the shape of a J for a day!!). He then covers our sins with His blood, having taken our punishment, and begins to immediately change our hearts (the Bible calls this justification). Now spiritually transformed, we enter back into the world, still needing to cling so desperately to the blood of Christ, until it has filled every aspect of our lives. Yet, here is where we are so prone to attack, because Satan sees us as weak. As we become stronger, we go out to share with others, but still need to feed from the Word of God. We are taken from being this creature that clings to the world, just slowly getting by, and are transformed into a thing of beauty ("... the many will be made righteous." Romans 5:19). We become a new creature. One that has the freedom to fly.
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20
I am always amazed when I see how intricately detailed all of Creation is to tell of Christ! As spring comes and we begin to see new life growing all around us, I hope you are reminded that like the dead of winter, you were dead in sin, but have new life through Christ alone. The coming of spring also means the coming of Easter. Let us not forget what He has done for us, but rather look for Him everywhere!