The Caterpillar

Choosing to believe something wonderful about yourself is more than just a feel-good notion. It is a life-making, DNA building, neurological pathway pioneering mode of a proactive lifestyle. It is survival.

This excerpt from a book I have only just stumbled upon–Seeing Through Heaven's Eyes: A World View that will Transform Your Life, by Leif Hetland–articulates this "notion" perfectly:

The process of transformation is nothing short of a miracle, both in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm. Do you know how a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly? Something mysterious begins to stir inside the caterpillar, prompting it to form a cocoon. Once inside the cocoon, the caterpillar is trapped. It can't leave. It can't move. It can't do anything. All it can do is lie there and wait–the way the body of Jesus, wrapped in those confining grave clothes, had to lie entombed in the darkness and wait–for its resurrection. And so must we, you and I, if we want to live in the newness of the resurrected life. We lie there in the dark, bound head to foot by confining circumstances. We lie there, not the one acting but the one acted upon. And there, in the darkness, we wait. And wait. And wait.

Until it is time. Our time, Our appointed time to emerge and reveal to the watching world the soaring beauty of what we were all created to be.

Before this emergence, though, something terrible happens; that is, if you believe your true identity is a caterpillar and you are determined to stay a caterpillar even if it kills you. God knows that this creature was not destined to spend the rest of its life worming around on the earth; it was destined to fly. But how do you convince a caterpillar of that, especially one that has grown comfortable being a caterpillar and is stubbornly wanting to remain a caterpillar? After all, he's pretty good at being a caterpillar. Added to that, all his friends are caterpillars. He's familiar with the ground, knowns the lay of the land, and is comfortable with his place in the meadow.

What God does that seems so terrible is that He starts to dissolve the caterpillar. All the internal organs, all the external appendages, everything turns to liquid. Halfway through the process, the caterpillar is no longer a caterpillar; it is a gooey mess. Out of this mess comes the miracle. Our of most messes comes the miracle. Both your messes and my messes. The miracle is this: out of this shapeless mass of goo God causes the cells to reorganise and build a butterfly, a being that is totally beyond the caterpillar's wildest imagination.

You can imagine–if the caterpillar had a sophisticated nerve network like we do–how it would feel to have your body slowly dissolve. It would feel like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz who was doused with water and started to shrink, screaming, "I'm melting! I'm melting!"

You can imagine, too, if the nerves were still active, what they must have thought there in the darkness as the caterpillar's shapelessness began to take shape. Its only thought, its only longing, its only prayer is to be restored to its original worminess. To crawl the earth again, on the ground that didn't shift. To chew leaves again, on sturdy stalks that supported its weight. That's all. That's not too much to ask, is it?

One thing I found out about the Father's love. Though He loves us as we are, He loves us too much to let us remain as we are.

But what does a caterpillar know if such things? Wings. Who ever heard of such things, such far-fetched, fairy-tale kinds of things? Flight. How scary would that be, not having solid ground beneath you? The nectar of flowers. Who could ever want anything better to eat than the chewy greenness of leaves?

You can almost hear the conversation between the caterpillar and its creator.

"No!" comes the scream from the liquid. "Don't give me wings; give me back my legs. Don't fill me with fantasies of flight; solid ground is good enough for me. And don't entice me with some fabled drink from flowered goblets; give me my greens and leave me be to live in peace and to eat in peace."

Sometimes we need to trust in a different perspective. Believe something new about ourselves, to find the beauty amongst the pain, and allow transformation to take place, despite how uncomfortable (an understatement) it feels.

The truth is, the pain of remaining a caterpillar is greater than the pain to transform into a butterfly. Furthermore, the pain you experience in the transformation is worth every single shriek, fear, lost hope, crushed dream and unknown territory crossed, to get to the glorious moment where you finally find freedom, peace and understanding beyond your wildest dreams.

What is your moment of darkness, right now? Think about changing your thought process from complaint and frustration to gratefulness. That's right, be thankful for the darkness and pain, because something beautiful is taking place if you'll let it and just believe you are wonderful despite feeling wormy.

Love Heids Xx