The girls are learning about the butterfly life cycle, and we are currently waiting for our caterpillars to finish shedding their exoskeletons and harden in their cocoons. It is a fascinating process to watch! It takes about two weeks for a caterpillar to transform into a butterfly, which is a long time for a six and four-year-old to wait, but every day we see change. Slow for anxious children, but just the right amount of time for emerging butterflies. There is order in all that God has made, from changing seasons to changing bugs.
The life cycle from caterpillar to butterfly is called metamorphosis, which means to change from an immature form to a mature one. A caterpillar becomes a pupa and then from a pupa it becomes a butterfly. It becomes something completely different! A fuzzy caterpillar is cute and all, but the grandeur of a mosaic-winged Monarch fluttering about freely- that is something to behold. This is what the caterpillar was intended for anyway- not to remain a caterpillar, but to transform into something more mature, more glorious.
The Christian life is like this. We were not intended to be as we are. I like what one pastor said, “God is re-creating us.” Sin marred God’s image in us, so Christ came and brought us new life through His death and resurrection. When we turn to Him, the veil that once separated us from God is removed and God begins to re-create us, to transform us into His likeness (see 2 Corinthians 3:12-18). When the Holy Spirit enters a person’s life, she is forever sealed by God for eternity with Him, and metamorphosis begins upon salvation. This is the doctrine of sanctification. God is making us holy by renewing us inwardly day by day. We are not now as we will be, but we are assured that we will be like God when we meet Him in heaven.
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
The veil is removed. We shall one day see God. Until then God is changing us, making us more like Him. This allows us to walk freely in fellowship with Him.
Travis yesterday in his sermon drew our attention to 1 Peter 1:15, which says, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” We do not choose in what areas we will be holy. We are to be holy in all our conduct. Travis remarked that we cannot pick and choose what sins we will ignore or permit, but that we are to be holy in everything. God enables us to do this. He is changing us and will not leave us as we are.
Much like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, spiritual change takes time. We can grow impatient with ourselves when we are not as we should be, but we must keep in mind that God gives us more grace. He is making all things new, including us, and He who began a good work in us WILL bring it to completion. God always finishes what He starts, and a glorious inheritance awaits those who believe in Christ Jesus for salvation. Until then we wait, throwing off sin that so easily entangles (like shedding exoskeleton), running the race, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, to one day become what we were always intended to be- a beautiful reflection of God’s glory, perfect and complete, forever praising the One who does all things well.