Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Becoming a butterfly

I'm jealous of butterflies. I know it's irrational to be jealous of an insect but I can't help how I feel. And I feel envious of butterflies.
Think about the beauty of being a butterfly. The allure of the butterfly extends beyond their colorful speckled wings and distinctive spots. The butterfly's life, from the very beginning, is a blessed existence. Just consider the life cycle they enjoy and I dare you to disagree.
Butterflies begin their lives as eggs nestled on the leaves of plants and trees. The Monarch likes the milkweed. It's quite a fitting name for the cradle of a baby butterfly, don't you think? A plant containing the name milk sounds just right.
After a brief stint on the leaf a caterpillar breaks through the filmy surface of the egg sack. Admittedly this caterpillar stage of life isn't the most glamorous but every growing child has an awkward stage. Butterflies are not immune. The upside of this stage of life is the same as that of any growing boy. Caterpillars have the perfect excuse to eat and eat they do. Eating is practically all they do, starting with the leaf onto which they were laid. From there they eat everything in sight until they cozy up on a protected branch to prepare for the third stage of their charmed existence.
Oh, the blessed third stage of the butterfly. This is the stage I wish God would establish in the human life cycle. In this third stage the awkward, chubby, crawling flower dweller spins its way into a silk cocoon. The technical name is a chrysalis. In the human life cycle I would rename it a sanctuary. The caterpillar, wrapped up in its natural protection, spends weeks - sometimes months - hanging from a plant. From the outside looking in there appears to be little action in the insect's life. They appear to be having a good long rest. But on the inside transformation is under way.
As a human being I am not equipped with inborn silk-spindling abilities and I don't have the luxury of escaping from the world while my transformation is being completed. My changes - inside and out - happen in real time without a curtain or a cocoon to shield the world from my vulnerabilities.
Some days I long for the cocoon of the butterfly so that I could be protected from the world while God does a work on transformation on my life. I want to be wrapped up and tucked away while the painful, trying metamorphoses of my heart takes shape.
But I'm not a butterfly. The warts, quirks and flaws of my life and the challenges I face aren't being made new under the guise of a chrysalis. It is all happening in real time.
God has chosen not to comfort me in a cocoon but to comfort me while I'm out on the leaf, enduring the elements of rains and winds unprotected by a flimsy casing. God has chosen to use my vulnerabilities as a catalyst for my growth. God has given me trying circumstances that have played out visibly for the world to see in order that I may use them as a testimony to His faithfulness.
God hasn't let me escape this world, this life or this body. He hasn't thrown me in a bag to wait out my transformation or tucked me into bed to sleep through the soul change He has under way. God is keeping me in the world and awake while He works through my stages of life.
Although I don't get the cocoon of the butterfly I do have the promise of a beautiful future to look forward to and anticipate. God hasn't given me a silk-sanctuary but He has given me the guarantee of a rich, glorious inheritance. In His time and His way, God is making me into a masterpiece more stunning than a Monarch.

No comments:

Post a Comment