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What is metamorphosis?

Most all of us learned that extremely long word in or around the 4th grade, long before it could roll off our tongues easily and certainly before we could understand the complexity of what it is that we call metamorphosis.


In fact, it is my belief, no not my belief, I am assured that the understanding of metamorphosis comes from something much deeper than reading books and studying the life cycle from egg/larva/pupa/adult.  It comes from more than finding a beautiful chrysalis on your bricks and ooohing and awing over the lovely shade of green and the golden gilded edges. Metamorphosis is much more fascinating than watching a beautiful, wet butterfly emerge from a cocoon. It’s more amazing than watching that butterfly slowly spread its wings and allowing them to dry and harden before finally stepping off the leaf and into the air, trusting that he won’t fall but will instead… SOAR!

No, there is so much more to metamorphosis than what we are taught in school. There is so much more than watching the evolution from egg to butterfly. What exactly am I talking about? I am talking about the evolution of a person. I am talking about watching a person grow, I am talking about holding your breath as the person struggle free of the protective chrysalis, and I am talking about waiting in wonderment at what will emerge.

I am talking about true metamorphosis. The refiner’s fire.

1 Peter 1:7 These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Stage 1 THE EGG: In scientific terms an egg is laid on a leaf, it is in a hard shell with a small hole in it which allows oxygen and water to enter. Depending on the season the egg can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years to hatch. In my terms: An egg is a thought, a prospect, a bible verse that is laid on someone’s heart. An egg is a seed that is planted, generally without knowledge. Depending on the circumstances that egg can take anywhere from 1 day to 80 years to hatch. Sadly, sometimes they don’t hatch. While waiting the egg simply waits, a promise, hoping to be revealed.

Matthew 13:3-9  Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Stage 2 THE LARVA: Once hatched the larva will eat the shell of the egg and its contents, heading on to the leaves of the plant that it was hatched on. During this stage they primarily eat and grow and prepare for Stage 3. Caterpillars are typically in this stage for 14 to 30 days. In reality Stage 2 is an exciting stage for a Christian. We devour all of God’s word we can, we are excited, and we can’t imagine life without Him. We are putting down roots with the knowledge that we are growing. We are sheltered.

Isaiah 41:10  Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Stage 3 THE PUPA: Caterpillars begin to spin silk and slowly cocoon themselves into a chrysalis. This is where the metamorphosis begins. This is when everything happens. It can take 2 weeks or a few months. Soon the caterpillar will be unrecognizable as these changes take place. I often wonder if the changes hurt or if they are accepted as part of the metamorphosis.

In life we grow. We being to spin silk and see the beauty in what we are doing. We might become a bit complacent. We might believe that no one else can spin silk like us. We trawl around and around and suddenly find ourselves enclosed. We push out against that hard protective shell of silk we have spun. We cry. We fight. We kick. We scream. No one seems to be answering us. We hear a voice, if we choose to listen it says:

Psalm 46:10a  Be still and know that I am God.

Eventually we stop fighting and we sit back, fear and trepidation filling our hearts. We are angry that we spun ourselves into this cocoon. We feel crowded and we feel like we are stuck. We fail to note the protection the cocoon is offering us because we are in pain, changes are taking place. We don’t see joy beyond the fear, we try to cut through the silks, we try to see the sunlight, but we are held tightly, the cocoon won’t give. God knows it’s too soon and although we are confused as to why we must remain cramped in that place, He knows.

Stage 4 THE ADULT: One day the chrysalis becomes transparent. Those watching can see the beautiful butterfly bunched up inside. The butterfly slowly emerges from its cocoon; cramped, deformed, crumpled wings trail behind it. Then it spreads its wings, slowly inflating them with blood. The young adult sits in the sun allowing the blood to harden and to give it strength.

I Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

We sit in the cramped state, rocking back and forth. We are tired. One morning we open our eyes expecting the usual darkness that we have become accustomed to. But instead we are greeted by a hazy filtered light. We are still covered by the protective shell, but it is transparent. The light gives us strength. We give one last push against the skin of the chrysalis and we break free. We are tired and weak as we pull ourselves out of our cramped position. We stretch. We reach above us, behind us, stretch again. We stand tall. We turn. And we realize we are no longer in pain. That pain allowed us to grow. And now we can fly.

Isaiah 40:29-30  He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will talk and not become weary.


Written by Sheri at Shades of Pink

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