This time two years ago, we found a caterpillar and the boys and I eagerly anticipated that it would cocoon and transform into a butterfly. Unfortunately, it turned out to be saw fly wasp larvae, and not a caterpillar. It was a great analogy for me at the time, as I had discovered I too was living as an imposter, so to speak. I was still living in my old nature, even though I had a new nature in Christ Jesus.
This year, the boys and I found some more caterpillars. After confirming that they were not saw fly wasp larvae, we put them in our homeschool room and again eagerly anticipated that the caterpillars would cocoon and transform into butterflies. This time we weren't disappointed.
Having not had much success in the past with caterpillars, we watched the caterpillars for the first few days, and then enthusiasm waned. We got busy doing other things and then forgot to check the little critters. To our surprise, yesterday we found a butterfly! We completely missed seeing it cocoon and emerge from the cocoon.
Today I had found that another caterpillar had cocooned overnight and we will be keeping a closer eye on this one. Hopefully we will catch it emerging from it's dark place into a beautiful butterfly.
As I thought about the caterpillar and its metamorphosis into a butterfly, a few things came to mind. I believe that God teaches us things from everyday occurances in nature like this. There are lessons everywhere if only we lean into His whisper.
Here is what I believe He showed me.
You might be interested to know that the plant that we found these caterpillars were on were weeds.
Lesson learned: Your bad experiences, losses, your past failures that are a part of you, can be used towards your transformation into what He designed you to be.
The cocoon is small, claustrophobic and all encompassing.
Lesson learned: When you are in the place where you think that you can't breathe and when everything looks dark and discouraging, He is transforming you into who He designed you to be. Your freedom from the cocoon is just around the corner.
If you help a butterfly escape from the cocoon, it will die.
Lesson learned: There are times when well meaning friends and family may try and help you out of the place that you are in. But sometimes, this can do more damage than good. There are times when others simply can't do it for you. Times when you are the only one that can get yourself out. Sometimes, the only way out of the cocoon is to lean on Him and rise up and fight your way out yourself.
When the butterfly emerges it has wings that it has never used before and it uses them.
Lesson learned: . It doesn't say, "I can't fly...I used to be a caterpillar. I don't deserve these wings. All I did was eat weeds, crawl into a dark depressing place and then I emerged from it transformed and with wings. I don't deserve to fly." No! The butterfly just uses the wings. Where the caterpillar could only slowly crawl, the butterfly flits about soaring high above the plants that were once too high too even contemplate climbing as a caterpillar.
So it is with us. Life is hard. We make mistakes. People hurt us. We feed on the weeds. Then we enter a dark place. A place that seems there is no way out. A place of despair. But we see the Light. A glimmer of hope enters and we fight our way out. No one can do it for us. It is up to us. We emerge from our cocoons stronger than when we entered them. Having fought our way out, finding our strength in Him, we are given our wings. Gifts that He gives us to fly. We are free. Free to be as He designed us to be. Free to go to places higher than we ever could as a caterpillar.
Still taking lessons from the King,