There are stages and periods of painful, confining growth in everyone’s life. Stages of being wrapped up in cocoons of hardships that cover us with doubts and fears. Stages that seem to come out of nowhere and we wonder, can I grow from this?
There are four life stages of a butterfly; the egg, the larva, the pupa and finally the butterfly. Each stage of change in their life cycle is quite different but each has a purpose.
Butterflies are unique amongst insects because they experience something called a complete metamorphosis whereas other insects have incomplete metamorphosis.
It takes about a year for a typical life cycle to be completed. Some butterflies can live up to 10 months but some only one to four weeks.
A larva or caterpillar (My youngest still struggles to say this) can be a very comic stage as most caterpillars look ugly, spiked, furry, clumpy, and gooey, but some are kind of cute I suppose.
This stage leads to the chrysalis which is the transforming from the caterpillar to the butterfly and is known as the resting stage. From this metamorphic stage a beautiful transformation occurs resulting in a brilliantly colored butterfly. What was once a silly, belly crawling insect, is now a brilliant flying insect and gorgeous display of color and wonder.
Isn’t that like the trials of life? If left alone, we’d be a silly, belly crawling insect that has little purpose, but God has much more. It’s His chrysalis of rest that he gives, cocooning us in his grace while undergoing a spiritual metamorphosis, or transformation to be exactly what He intended for us after all. But it hurts because the metamorphosis is a resting, confining stage that hems us in and we seem to lose freedoms. Although while we rest in Him, He is using that confinement to take our silly, belly crawling selves and mold us, heal us, and shape us into a Christlikeness that will shine more radiant and more beautiful for His glory.
Our colorful display of virtues and graces gotten through our metamorphosis are bright and new because he loves us far too deeply to leave us to ourselves. As we are molded and changed into beautiful butterflies, letting go of who we once were and submitting to God’s plan for this stage in life, we become something that can instead go beyond what we perceive as lost. Now, we can fly and soar because we are what God saw in us all along. He saw the silly, belly us crawling along and He wrapped a silken cross of grace around our souls, that transformed our lives into His glorious masterpiece.