This past week, I created a tag game for my younger students in which they start as caterpillars and are turned into butterflies after they are tagged. I wanted to reinforce what they are learning in the classroom about the lifecycle of the butterfly. As I was speaking to them about the caterpillar’s incredible transformation, I began to ponder the complete beauty of the process. A creature is born, develops as any other creature does, but then produces a chrysalis from within, patiently transforms, and emerges as a completely different, beautiful creature.
Honestly, I was a bit jealous. We are born as humans and what do we get to transform into, other than older humans? Then, in an awesome, revealing moment, I realized that we are just like those butterflies. We are born as humans—lost, fragile, incomplete beings—and after surrounding ourselves in Jesus, we emerge as beautiful, completely changed creatures.
I watched a video of a caterpillar’s transformation, and wrote down some of my thoughts. All I could do was smile as I compared each step in the caterpillar’s development to a step in my life. The egg hatches and when examined closely, it is so beautiful and so intricate. It eats and grows, eats and grows. We, similarly, grow as we consume the good news of Jesus. At times, the caterpillar’s skin is too large for it’s body. But somehow, its Creator knew that the caterpillar would need that larger skin to grow.
All of a sudden, the caterpillar knows that something just isn’t right in its life. It stops eating, and begins to wander. Finally, the caterpillar finds a place where it believes that transformation is possible. The caterpillar is holding on to a branch so tightly, but eventually, has to let go. Remind you of anything?
After letting go, the caterpillar breaks open its own skin and surrounds itself with a chrysalis. This chrysalis is new and transforming, but has been inside of the caterpillar all along. Kind of the same way that Jesus is inside of us all along, waiting until we acknowledge and accept His transforming power.
The caterpillar begins to make changes within. After a long process, you can begin to see the butterfly’s colors emerging. And then, in one of the most incredible sights you will ever see, a beautiful creature appears, spreads its wings, and begins to fly.
I love the beauty of all God’s creation, and I stand in awe of how He can use a tiny insect to remind me of the transforming power of Jesus.
Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
2 Corinthians 3: 16-18
Please enjoy the caterpillar-butterfly transformation video! (It lasts about 14 minutes)