Who could imagine
Who could imagine that hidden within the caterpillar is the dormant blueprint of the butterfly just waiting to be activated through total surrender and a willingness to be hidden, confined, broken down, and changed? Only the Creator could come up with something this good…this wonderful.
“We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!” – Ephesians 2:10 TPT
Family Turned Upside Down
It had been an emotionally exhausting season. We had tried everything we knew to do. Feeling torn inside, we made a gut-wrenching decision. Our strong-willed, teenage son would be placed into a Christian boy’s ranch…. away from us…his loving parents and four siblings. I couldn’t help but feel that I had failed as a mother. Yet, in the midst of the PAIN, HURT, and TURMOIL, God was weaving together a plan of restoration and transformation in our family.
During this intense season, while fervently praying for my troubled son, I began to repeatedly see flashes of a picture. I saw my son tightly encased inside of a chrysalis. What surprised me was in this picture my son resembled something like gelatinous goop. After several days of seeing this strange image, I felt led to research what takes place inside of a cocoon. What I found blew me away and gave such hope as God began to walk me through metamorphosis in nature and the parallels in spiritual transformation.
From Goop to Glory
When the time for change comes, the caterpillar hangs itself upside down. Up to this point, its “juvenile hormone” had blocked the caterpillar’s ability to transform. Tightly wrapped in the protective chrysalis, digestive enzymes begin to dissolve the caterpillar’s body into an organic goop. This complete deconstruction awakens specialized cells which had been lying dormant inside from before it hatched from the egg. Scientists aptly named them “Imaginal Cells”. Contained within these cells is the remarkable blueprint for a winged living being. They vibrate at a distinct new frequency…the rhythm of the butterfly.
A war then ensues…the old against the new. Identified as foreign, the dying larva cells attack the unfamiliar budding imaginal cells. Reverberating. Multiplying. Banding together. The imaginal cells overcome. A whole new body and digestive system is created. Wings develop. A glorious sky-bound creature is born.
Deconstruction and Rebirth
"It is in dying that we are born to eternal life." -Saint Francis of Assisi
Nature often whispers a parable when one leans in close enough to listen. Like the caterpillar, isn’t it when life “turns on its head” that God is able to do the deepest work inside of us? Protected, Papa God shields us in the cocoon of his tender hands. Everything he does is for our good and flows from his loving heart.
Similar to the caterpillar, clinging to our juvenile mindsets, perceptions, and ways of speaking delay our maturity and even halt the awakening of God’s implanted purpose in our lives. Latent potential is activated when we leave behind our childish ways.
When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.”-1 Corinthians 13:11 TPT
A war takes place within us: our flesh vs our spirit. When God draws us into the cocoon, we can fight. We can clutch desperately to our old way of life…the “diet” we fed our flesh and the ties that held us to the ground; or we can surrender to the process of being deconstructed. Shedding the old enables us to embrace the new.
“So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to–the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.” –Ephesians 4:22-24 GNT
Deposited inside each of us, like the imaginal cells, is the blueprint of God’s perfect design and destiny for our lives. Our very personalities, talents, physical attributes, voices, and abilities were uniquely endowed with our destinies in mind. When we submit to God’s deep transformative work, the seeds of our latent potential begin to awaken and take shape. In the confinement of the cocoon we are being transformed into the very image and likeness of our Creator. We are going from glory to glory.
What about our son?
A year and a half later, our boy came back home to us. So much deep work has been done by our faithful God inside of our precious son and in each member of our family. God is not finished. We are still in process. But I see the fruit developing from this season of the cocoon. I see a softening of hearts. I see a maturing of character. And I am clinging to the promise that the good work God began inside of me, my son, and my family….He will faithfully carry to completion.
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