I was out trimming the bushes the other evening. The stench of lavender permeated the air, and, as I picked up the bits of spent blooms, I spied dozens of ladybug pupae holding fast to the leaves. This got me thinking.
Do you know what transformation looks like for many winged insects? It looks like darkness. It feels like struggle. It sounds like pupate. (I mean, really, could there be a less gross way of saying being made new?)
It helps that we know the end game when we spy an ugly pupa or chrysalis in our garden. We know what it looks like when a swallowtail butterfly seems to float up and down on the breeze as though born of some alien land. It’s other-worldly beautiful. We know it started as a caterpillar inching its way into a chrysalis. This is part of its appeal. Metamorphosis is nothing short of miraculous.
But what about the poor larva? Think about the process it undergoes.
First, it’s suddenly sluggish. Then, it’s clinging to a leaf or twig. Next, it hardens its skin and hides inside itself. It cannot move and becomes vulnerable to birds and other insect-eaters. It gets dark, and it cannot see. Finally, it wakes to find itself entombed. The only way out is to struggle and push against its own hardened exoskeleton. Then, it erupts its case only to discover itself wet-winged and clumsy.
It’s one thing to admire a butterfly, it’s a whole other thing to become one. The same is true for all of us longing to be made in the image of God. It’s easy to admire that one person we have in our life who loves Jesus with all her heart and lives submitted to His will. She’s other-worldly beautiful. It’s another thing to become that kind of devoted follower of Christ ourselves.
Transformation comes about through struggle. It happens in the dark when we don’t know what God is doing.
If only we could see with the perspective of heaven. If only we could know what all the struggle is for. If only we could believe with every fiber of our being: we might be in the dark, but we weren’t made for the dark.
We were made to reflect the Light—“beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.”
Maybe your transformation into a Light reflector looks an awful lot like an insect larva. Maybe you currently feel paralyzed by your fears and entombed by your circumstances. Maybe you feel vulnerable and a bit desperate. Maybe you seem to be stuck in one spot. Maybe you are struggling and wondering why God has allowed your circumstances.
Dear sister, let me lean in close and echo the truth found in the Scripture. Jesus is the founder and the perfecter of your faith. And He has already gone before you. You are being lovingly disciplined into one who bears fruit (Hebrews 12:1-11). God has His sights on the long game, on what is best for you in view of eternity. Set your eyes on Him. And while you are in the middle of struggling in the seeming dark, don’t forget to hope for wings and flight—for things beyond this world.
“He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion.” Phil. 1:6.
by Amanda Conquers
Editor’s note: It is my hope and prayer this devotion encourages you. I would love to hear from you. You can comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rev. Denise Much
Amanda Conquers is former children’s pastor and youth leader, Amanda finds her main ministry these days is gathering the four children she and her cop husband are blessed by around the table and homeschooling them. She still makes the time to string together words that point to the glory of God. She’ll share with anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by her circumstances or too weak to face them: you only have to be strong enough to lean on the One who already overcame. @amanda_conquers www.amandaconquers.com