It’s summer, and that means butterflies, those amazingly beautiful insects flitting around gardens and flowers and plants everywhere. I’ve read that there are 20,000 species of them. The famous Monarch makes an annual 4,000-mile migration (round trip) to avoid the winter cold. (I get it.) Reportedly, the most beautiful is the Blue Morpho. One of a butterfly’s growth stages is the caterpillar. It’s typically not too pretty to look at, has voracious, 24/7 eating habits, and molts several times to accommodate its rapid increase in girth. If we brought a caterpillar to a biologist and asked him to analyze it and describe its DNA, he would say that, although it looks like a caterpillar, scientifically, according to every test including DNA, it is fully and completely a butterfly. So, God wired into a creature that looks nothing like a butterfly a perfectly complete butterfly identity. And because a caterpillar is a butterfly in essence, it will one day display the behavior and attributes of a butterfly. It will mature into what is already true about it. (you could likely fill in the blanks at this point, but please humor me). Our God is so totally cool! Just look at these verses!
1 John 3:2: “Beloved, we are God’s children right now; however, it is not yet apparent what we will become. But we do know that when it is finally made visible, we will be just like him, for we will see him as he truly is.”
Philippians 1:6: “ . . . the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 8:23: “We who have already experienced the firstfruits of the Spirit also inwardly groan as we passionately long to experience our full status as God’s sons and daughters – including our physical bodies being transformed. For this is the hope of our salvation.”
What I understand from my butterfly example and these few verses is that, while some of us may see our spiritual selves as slow-moving, lowly caterpillars currently, we need to acknowledge that there is a perfectly designed, hidden work called transformation taking place inside, behind the scenes. (It’s called. Plan ‘A’ – with no such thing as a Plan ‘B.’) It’s the Holy Spirit Who is busy ‘faithfully continuing the process of maturing us!’ Please stop and say, “Wow!” with me. God sees, and cares, about every aspect of our need for spiritual growth and formation as His disciples. If those cocoons are feeling a bit restricting, maybe it’s because we’re getting ready to fly! PD