Nature is a great way to learn things about God. After all, he is the one who created it. Most people think he created everything from nothing but that simply isn’t true. The Bible even proves this. We read in Hebrews 11 “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” So you see things were made from that which isn’t visible but there was something there that it came out from. In fact it came out from God himself just as when God breathed into Adam the breath of life. It was God’s very own breath that made Adam a living soul. In other words there is some flash or glimmer of God and his character written in everything throughout his creation. “His invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…”
Butterflies are a great example of God’s transformational power. Of course we know a butterfly doesn’t start out as a butterfly but rather a caterpillar. The caterpillar has to go through a transformation or metamorphosis in order to become the butterfly. This transformation takes place in a dark, tight spot called a cocoon. While it’s in the cocoon you can’t see what is happening but we know something miraculous happens because at the appointed time a butterfly emerges leaving no trace of the caterpillar.
There are several changes that take place during this dark time in the cocoon. The caterpillar undergoes dramatic changes to its heart, brain and stomach. Isn’t that something? It needs a new heart. That sounds like what God wants for us. And its brain, well that reminds me of how we have to have our minds renewed.
Since a caterpillar lives on foliage and a butterfly eats nectar it has to have a brand new digestive system. We too have a change of diet from feeding on fleshly and worldly things to a diet of the Spirit.
As I thought about how there has to be a complete transformation in the caterpillar I thought that is exactly like us. When Christ takes up residence within someone they become a new creature. All of the old stuff is gone and everything becomes brand new. We truly become a new creature in Christ.
If only we could see ourselves as the new creature we are rather than thinking we are still the old man. I mean I just can’t see a butterfly flying around thinking “I’m just a caterpillar saved by grace.” I for one have never seen a butterfly and thought “Look at that caterpillar” have you? No, you see the butterfly and think that is truly a miracle. Only God could pull that one off.
This whole idea about the caterpillar and butterfly struck me this morning and I thought about how Adam disobeyed God and became a lower level creature than God intended him to be. It’s as if when he ate of the forbidden tree he became a partaker of the wrong diet: worm food if you will. All along God intended for him to eat only of the butterfly food which is the fruit of the Tree of Life. Since he ate of the forbidden tree it would require a radical transformation to enable him to eat of the Tree of Life.
The way in which the transformation takes place is very much like the way a caterpillar is transformed. A man generally has to go through what many have deemed “The dark night of the soul.” We tend to have to find ourselves in some pretty dark, tight spots before we are willing to be changed. If we are willing though, God will change us into the creature that he’s always wanted us to be, and he will give us a new heart that will long for the things he longs for. He will renew our minds so we will begin to see ourselves as the new creatures we are. Finally we will start to feed on Christ. Jesus said, “He who eats me, he also will live because of me.”
One day there will be some caterpillars standing before God saying, “Didn’t I do this …?” And “didn’t I do that…?” and Jesus will say, “I never knew you.” You see it isn’t about what we do it’s about whether or not we are the kind of creature that can live in the heavenly environment God has created for those that love and trust him. It will be a place only butterflies can access. No amount of correct behavior or good deeds will change us into the kind of creature that lives with God for all eternity. Only God can change us into the kind of creature that can live in the heavenlies throughout all eternity.
Written by Louie