I am a big fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines and love their show on HGTV, Fixer Upper. I love watching the transformation of ugly duckling homes that have been neglected. What is common in most of these homes is that they have good bones. Usually much of what needs to be done is cosmetic with a few structural adjustments or modifications to fit the purpose of the new homeowners.
Seeing these beautiful transformations unfold in a 1-hour TV show is amazing, but I am sure there is some ugly and dirty work behind-the-scenes that is not captured by the cameras. When we see pretty things after all of the “dirty work” has been completed, I think it is harder for us to fully appreciate what has happened.
Picture a beautiful butterfly floating softly in the summer air. Such a wonderful expression of our Creator’s handiwork, right? We see the beauty of the butterfly, but we are unaware of the intricate process it took to get to that stage of its life.
A few months ago, I heard a story about caterpillars on National Public Radio (NPR), and it reminded me of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Apparently, biologists at Georgetown University have discovered that moths can remember lessons learned during their days as a caterpillar. This is remarkable because caterpillars in many ways die during their time in the cocoon. Scientists describe the metamorphosis process as a breakdown of the caterpillars organs into a soup-like consistency. Ewww….I know, a little icky sounding, but how many of us have felt utterly broken as The Lord works on our hearts and minds?
Not only can moths remember lessons learned as a caterpillar, but research indicates that some of the bodily structures of the future moth are already inside the caterpillar and survive the metamorphosis.
In my personal walk with The Lord, I have found that some of the characteristics and qualities of who God created me to be, can become a crutch and hindrance to who The Lord wants to evolve me to become. He will use experiences, circumstances and other people to repurpose and adjust our attitudes, mindsets and behaviors. Those seasons can be just as dark as the inside of a cocoon. They can be painful at times as our personality is reset and tuned to be more like the character of Jesus.
Our walk with The Lord is about transformation.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Maybe you are in a season where you feel like you are stuck inside a cocoon. You feel like you are ready to become the beautiful butterfly God intends you to be. I encourage you to hold still, and try not to rush the great work The Lord is doing in you by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is an expression that says, “trust the process.”
Unfortunately, I am not known to be the most patient person in the world. However, I have slowly come to learn that I have to trust and be confident that, “He who began a good work will complete it.” (Philippians 1:6)
After all, if beautiful transformations are possible in renovated homes and caterpillars, surely it is possible in our lives, right? We know that all things are intended for our good if we love The Lord.
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT
Grow Deeper: Questions for Prayer and Reflection
- Think about 2017 for a moment, the good and bad. Now think about your responses to those situations. Within your journal, write down the different ways you responded to circumstances in 2017. In one column, right down the responses you want to leave behind. As an example, it could be feelings like, anger, worry, unbelief, etc. In another column, right down your reactions to situations/people that you want to carry forward in 2018 and beyond. Examples include, more prayer time, reading the Word, compassion, forgiveness, etc.
- Are there any parts of my personality, skills or abilities that I trust in more than I trust The Lord? If we want to experience powerful transformations, we have to be careful about where we place our trust.
- What part of myself is The Lord saying that I need to let go and allow Him to renew and transform? Pray and ask The Lord for greater understanding and the courage to do what He is asking.