Thursday, April 28, 2011

May The Morph Be With You

Butterflies are funny things. They seem to be God’s official greeters of spring. In lilting, carefree abandon, they embellish our world with joyful bursts of color. They seem to be all goodness and light. But there’s a dark side. The process requiring the plain little caterpillar to zip itself into a homemade sleeping bag and emerge a beautiful winged creature is well known. What isn’t often witnessed is the sacrifice involved in breaking out of that brown shell. The case is punctured and the moth’s wet body squeezes through a too-small opening, droplets of blood dribbling out. If the butterfly doesn’t go through this bleeding process it won’t survive. I discovered this once when I tried to assist a butterfly mid-hatch. 
For fun I purchased a butterfly kit one spring. As the butterflies began hatching, one by one they laboriously wriggled through tiny holes in their cocoons. To my dismay, not one of the insects broke free without bleeding. One seemed stuck and I watched it struggle for hours to flee its prison. When I couldn’t stand it anymore I gently pulled the sides of the cocoon apart to free it. “It can fly away now!” I thought. Nevertheless, it fell to the ground, trying in vain to stretch and dry its glistening wings. Within minutes it was dead. I was horrified! I suddenly noticed the inside of the mesh habitat was a gruesome bloodbath. The blood was the residue of their former wormy selves. It had to be shed to complete their transformations. 

We Christians are much like that. When we receive Jesus Christ into our hearts we begin a lifelong process that is beautiful yet often painful as He morphs us into His image. Our “wings” won’t be fully formed and perfect until we meet the One who shed His own blood, the One who gave up His very life to free us from our ugly cocoons of sin. The path to our eternal life with Him is a narrow one but He will give us joy in the journey. As we celebrate His rebirth this Easter and unwrap our gift of new life we can find great hope in His promise … “Behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:5.

Post Script-After writing this in December of 2010, I came across an entry in the Streams In The Desert devotion book written by Mrs. L. B. Cowman that was uncannily similar to my story. I hereby post this disclaimer that I did not plagiarize Mrs. Cowman, apparently we both had the same amazing experience trying to free a butterfly. According to others I’ve spoken to about this coincidence and much to my surprise, it is not an uncommon experience!

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