Metamorphosis: The Transformational Heart of God
Why does it seem that no matter what park bench you sit on some sort of insect makes its way to your exact location? Be it ants, beetles, or worst of all spiders, they all seem to zero in on your bench at that exact time! If you’re like me insects are not welcome company. Although they are not my favorite creatures (ok I’ll be honest they repulse me but I’m working on it!) one of these amazing creatures captures my imagination like no other. The Butterfly, or rather its predecessor the caterpillar, undergoes one of the most fascinating transformations of any creature. To save you a lengthy scientific explanation of the process (for which I’m not qualified to articulate) I’ll just offer a quick summary. Throughout a process called metamorphosis, a caterpillar goes through several phases of growth and change in order to become the beautiful butterfly. The creation of the Butterfly contains a beautiful picture of the transformational heart of God.
Have you ever heard someone quote, “God loves you enough to save you right where you’re at but He loves you too much to leave you there…”? The truth of this statement is highlighted in the growth process the Father takes His children on in life which brilliantly parallels the metamorphosis of the caterpillar. There are roughly five phases in the journey of a caterpillar to a butterfly. In the first four phases the main job of the caterpillar is to eat and as it does it outgrows its old skin forcing it to shed it through a process called molting, in order to get ready for new skin. A very necessary part of our lives is to feast on the truth of God’s word and character in order to grow and develop. As we receive new revelation about God and who we are, we essentially “outgrow” our old ways of thinking. We outgrow the surroundings and boundaries of our previous lifestyle. We are made new (2 Cor.5:17) and therefore require newness around us to keep up with the process.
“And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another”
2 Cor. 3:18 (ESV)
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Rom. 12:2 (ESV)
The fifth phase in the caterpillar’s life initiates the final stage of transformation into a butterfly as the caterpillar’s body begins to undergo physical transformation morphing into the body of the butterfly equipped to handle the duties and life purposes of the butterfly. In this quiet and hidden place of development wings appear which will enable the caterpillar to do something it’s never done – fly. What amazing creativity of Father God to think of such a thing!
During the ever-changing growth phases of our lives, however, the Father has the same thing in mind for us. That is to eventually ready us to do things we were never able to do before either and, if you will, to fly! To become all that we were designed to be!
But only a good Father like Our Father can see the potential before it’s visible.
Who looks at a caterpillar initially and thinks, “Yeah I bet with the right process and conditions this thing can fly!” And yet that is exactly how God thinks. He saw Paul, one of the most influential leaders for teaching the church the grace and love of Christ, when he was still Saul, a murderous, religious zealot. God saw Gideon as a mighty warrior when he was found hiding in a winepress and the list goes on.
He sees us not as we are but as we truly are.
The way He created us to be before the world ever began…
“For we are His workmanship (His own master work, a work of art), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared for us beforehand (taking paths which He set) so that we would walk in them.” Eph. 2:10 (AMP)
It’s amazing to think He thought of us before He created anything else, and imagined with love what we could be. Whatever phases of transformation and growth you may be in know that the heart of God is for you to fly! He wants to get you to be the best you can be and He has all the wisdom and power to get you there. Just like the caterpillar entrusts itself to the process let the Father’s hands enwrap and mold you into all He sees you to be! He has such a good purpose for you! Trust Him today.
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jer.29:11 (MSG)