Thursday, January 31, 2008

Walking Butterfly

Two mornings after recording the previous story about breaking out of my cocoon, a funny little two-word phrase popped into my mind. It made me smile and even giggle; it was so silly. Then a picture came with the phrase that was really goofy.

The words that came were 'walking butterfly', and the picture was a beautiful butterfly with mult-colored wings that were huge behind her. They were strong and bright and even a bit overwhelming. But she was walking! I could clearly see her walking down the sidewalk, dragging those perfectly good wings behind. She seemed quite pleased with herself and even carried a nice purse that matched her shoes. I told you it was silly!

I suppose the thought of a walking butterfly could be seen as a sad picture, but for me it was comical because I knew that I was that silly butterfly and that God was lovingly sending me a message. He was gently showing me that I already have all I need to begin to fly free. I keep waiting and asking Him to equip me and make me all He wants me to be. While I am asking, He is looking at those huge wings that I am dragging around. He has given us the equipment, but we need to use it.

Has God given you some promises? Has He been growing you and changing you? One of the root causes for feelings of frustration can be that you are going through a growth spurt. Are you waiting anxiously for Him to change you into a great woman or man of God? You may need to look behind you. Dragging those huge wings can be frustrating and hard. Maybe it's time for us to fly!

Do Butterflies Look Bored?

Don't butterflies look like they are having fun? It would be easy to imagine them playing a game. Those brightly colored wings carry them this way and that, land for a bit on a yellow flower, then up and off to stop at a purple blossom, never staying in one spot for very long.

Now picture a cocoon, all brown and crusty, some edges darker than the others. It blends in with the tree or plant it is attached to. It may look dead if you don't realize what it is. The caterpillar is inside there, and she is slowly changing, bit by bit. At first the cocoon is exactly the right shape and size for the caterpillar, maybe it is even comfortable.

I have lived inside a cocoon for many years. I spent those years loving God, and He protected me and carried me through some really great times and some very bad times. But life in this world of ours still hurts and awful things happen, and even though I was a Christian I began to build a nice, safe cocoon to hide in and protect myself. It was fine and comfy in there for quite a while. It worked. I was serving God and hopefully helping people. I had fashioned the cocoon myself, so it was only as large as I allowed it to be. It fit long as I stayed the same size.

But God could see the bigger picture. He saw me in that crusty, old cocoon and knew the real design He had in mind for me. His dream for me was way too big to fit in that ugly little thing that I had made for myself. So He began to gently change me while I was still inside my safety capsule. Little by little my form grew and expanded until that covering began to feel uncomfortable.

Now, growth sounds like it would be a totally positive and agreeable process. Who in the world would choose to be a caterpillar over a butterfly? But for quite a while I hung on to that useless cocoon even as it was breaking apart, since it was all I knew. What else could there be? Recently I have been slowly stretching out my wings and the sunshine of God's love for me has warmed them and caused me to venture out of my cocoon and into the delight of His huge love for me.

Freedom! Look at a butterfly. Doesn't she look like she is enjoying, reveling in her freedom? I wonder if she remembers the cocoon life of before. I do. And I sure do not want to return to it. Can you be serving God and still be all bound up, tight and hard? Yes, you can, and God will still use you...but He can see a much more beautiful picture for you. Freedom, joy, laughter. Those are major ingredients in my life now.

It is a daily adventure to explore all the aspects of my new freedom. I am finding that I just did not know what I did not know! Boring? Ever seen a bored butterfly?