DayBreaks for 11/15/18: Talking to Caterpillars
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2008:
There are plenty of days when I am deeply frustrated by my walk with God. Why? Because sometimes, at least in some areas of my life, I just don’t seem to be making any progress, or if I am, it’s negligible. I can’t see it. I believe that I should be “better” than I am by now. And I know that I’m not alone. As a minister, I hear that from many people. They, too, get discouraged and from time to time are so deeply depressed about their lack of spiritual progress that they talk about giving up.
I recently ran across an illustration that really helped me in this regard. Suppose for a moment that you found a caterpillar. Not all caterpillars, by the way, are fuzzy and cute, so let’s just assume that this caterpillar has been crawling around on its belly, blind and slimy. Perhaps, being a higher life form, you might take compassion on this poor caterpillar and begin speaking to it: “Hi, there. I can see that you’re having troubles. You know, I want to tell you something: you won’t always be a caterpillar. You won’t always crawl on your belly in the dirt or be blind and slimy. There will come a time when you will wrap yourself inside of a tight, snug cocoon. You’ll be there for a while, but then you’ll pop out of the cocoon and you’ll be able to see. You’ll be filled with beautiful colors and you’ll have wings attached to your back and you’ll dance on the air! Won’t that be great!?”
The caterpillar, of course, probably can’t understand a word you’re saying. But if it could, do you think it would believe you? It’s blind: it’s never been able to see a butterfly or to even imagine such a thing. It would probably laugh out loud at your words of encouragement and think you were nuts. But you know it is true, even if the caterpillar doesn’t.
Here’s the point: I’m like that caterpillar, slimy, crawling on my belly and blind. I have lived that way more often than not. And it feels as if it will never end. But God has told me otherwise, and He’s told you otherwise, too, if you are a disciple. Listen to these passages:
2 Cor. 3:18: And we…are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.
Phil. 3:20-21: Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
1 John 3:2: Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him.
We ARE being transformed…Jesus WILL transform our lowly bodies…what we WILL BE has not yet been made know, but we know that…we SHALL BE like him. Like the caterpillar, for now we’re blind and can’t see it, but when we emerge from our cocoon, we will have eyes to see!
God has been telling us this for 2000 years or longer. But we’re like the caterpillar who has trouble understanding what God is saying, and even greater trouble accepting it. When I’m discouraged about my walk, I need to remind myself that I am like the caterpillar for the time being, but because Jesus has the “power that enables him to bring EVERYTHING under his control” that He will not fail to change me into his likeness so when I arrive at the throne of God, I “shall be like him.” It’s almost too good to believe, isn’t it? Who and what we will be is more than we can imagine!
PRAYER: Lord, this process seems so slow and I often fear that I will gum up the works and bring it all to a screeching halt. Help me to remember that You are the one who turns caterpillars into beautiful butterflies, and that You’ve promised to do that for me, too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>