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A friend of mine recently responded to a question that I asked her concerning changes in life, as compared to a butterfly. She said that she likens the lifecycle of a butterfly to that of a Christian’s growth. Beautiful analogy, is it not? Have you ever considered it?

Beth is correct in her analysis of the changes that take place as we grow in Christ. At the start of the metamorphosis, we are like larva in a cocoon, but in that egg stage, there is a remarkable life-changing process, the very beginning of a butterfly. A new Christian needs a cocoon, and that is where mature Christians rally to help keep the egg safe. Thus, other Christians become a cocoon as it were. We can rightly call that stage of our Christian growth toward butterflyhood: Justification. This is when we first believe in Jesus and accept our new life in Him.

New Skin

The second stage of a butterfly’s life is when a caterpillar emerges. Every aspect of the butterfly’s life is so different from the next. A caterpillar is not known for fast races. The caterpillar’s movement is slow, just as the same way we Christians develop; slowly, yet we do, day by day. We study; we learn to love and to serve. All the while, a protection is afforded to us. The caterpillar sheds its skin four times with each skin being larger than the previous one, so that adequate growth is possible. Do you feel your new skin as you grow? During the caterpillar stage, a chrysalis replaces the cocoon and a plant is provided for food. In order to finish its slow race, the caterpillar eats ample amounts of the food provided for it. This is comparable to the Christian calling on the Holy Spirit and feasting on the word of God. This stage two is: Sanctification, also known as the work of a lifetime.

Just before its stage call, as a beautiful part of creation, the butterfly can be detected through the chrysalis. It looks hunchbacked, squeezed into a see-through translucent shell. It appears to be cramped. That, too, is indicative of the Christian growth and the struggle through the controversy between good and evil. Perhaps, even enduring the time of trouble? Yet we have the chrysalis, Christ, to protect us. He even provides the budding butterfly with silk from its own body, as faith would be on the part the Christian, to form a cord to secure the chrysalis to the plant (Jesus) from which it obtains its ongoing lifecycle.

Then, comes the full, amazing transformation, the last part of a butterfly’s development, when the caterpillar finally becomes exactly what God designed for it to be: a butterfly. We develop as a Christian in a similar manner. For you see, when the butterfly emerges it is complete, it is perfect. Thus, stage three is: Glorification. That is when, as my friend Beth happily describes it, “We are taken home with Jesus, as a full, mature butterfly.”

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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