Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Caterpillar's Change

II Corinthians 5:17 (NKJ) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

Picture the caterpillar. With its belly nearly dragging the earth and its tiny legs working furiously, it inches along, making its way from one plant to another. On the plant it blends in, its green color camouflaged by leaves. It spends its life contentedly munching its leafy green diet. But one day the caterpillar drastically changes. It stops eating and spins a cocoon around itself. Here it stays, snug and secure for a time. We don’t know exactly what happens to the caterpillar while in its cocoon, but we do know it emerges totally changed. The caterpillar, once confined to traveling slowly on its little legs, can now fly. In its freedom, it flits from one flower to another, its diet no longer green leaves, but the sweet nectar of the flowers. It no longer shows dull green, but instead displays beautiful colors in its gossamer thin wings. What was once a slow-moving, plain creature has become a free-flying, colorful work of art. The old caterpillar has passed away; it has become a new creation.

Like the caterpillar, we are to become new creations. When we are “in Christ” we no longer crawl with our bellies close to the ground; we no longer see ourselves or others from an earthly perspective. With Christ, our perspectives change. Before, hundreds of earthly concerns reigned central in our lives: making more money, driving the latest cars, wearing the latest up-to-date fashions. When we crawled like a caterpillar, we saw other people from an earthly perspective: how they looked, how we could judge them, whether or not they were part of the “in-crowd.” We loved to gossip about others; we loved to tear others down in order to build ourselves up.

But we who are “in Christ” have become new creations; we have gossamer wings with which we can fly. Christ in us lets our thoughts soar heavenward. Suddenly, our earthly concerns seem less important; we are more concerned with gaining fruits of the spirit. Acquiring these becomes more important than acquiring material goods. We now view others from a different, higher perspective. Christ in us can love others through us. Instead of seeing other’s faults, Christ lets us glimpse what He sees in each of His beautiful human creations. He lets us see what each person could become through His love. Instead of gossiping about others, we now talk to God about them, lifting them up in prayer.

Are you concerned that you haven’t undergone this metamorphosis? Then look to the example of the caterpillar. Before the caterpillar could change, it needed to spend time in the cocoon: sustained time alone with God, studying His word, listening to His still small voice, talking with Him, and hearing the testimonies of all the “new creations” in His word.

Father, wrap us in the cocoon of your love and wisdom and make us butterflies. Work the miracle of change in our lives. Create us anew as beautiful new creatures flying on the wings of your spirit.

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