Do you ever have the feeling God is trying to get your attention about something?
During a walk recently, I noticed a butterfly. I kept walking and saw another one. Then another. And another and another and another. It was ridiculous how many butterflies I saw on this one walk. I took special notice because it was so unusual.
And as I took notice, I asked God what it was all about. As I thought about butterflies, I pondered how they fly around, look for flowers, come in different colors, patterns and sizes. They are beautiful. But what else? I started thinking about how the butterfly doesn’t start off as a butterfly. That what makes it beautiful is the metamorphosis and the transformation it goes through. It starts off as an unremarkable bug and turns into something beautiful you want to chase after.
Although this is not new information, it suddenly was very meaningful for me at this time in my life. This year has been difficult, dealing with two miscarriages and the ups and downs of being pregnant, then not pregnant, in a matter of 10 months. It has been an emotional, mental, spiritual and physical roller coaster. However, walking through this season with God (and the help of a very amazing counselor) has helped me see things from a new perspective. It’s made me question what I really want out of life. It’s made me take a firm stand on how I honestly feel about God’s sovereignty. It’s made me acknowledge the untruths and lies that I’ve bought into for so long. I am living the scripture that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
In essence, I’m changing.
So when I saw the butterflies, it made me stop. I did some research, and what I found fascinating thing about butterflies is not just the fact that they go through such an amazing metamorphosis, but why they do. It’s the transformation that reveals their destiny.
The caterpillar first sheds its skin several times, seeks a sheltered spot, suspends itself by threads and sheds one last time to reveal the skin that will harden to form the cocoon.
I know something about shedding my skin and seeking seclusion.
Then the wings are forced into position by the pressure of the blood, and although they are at first fragile, it’s only mere hours before they become so hard and joined to the body that they can be picked up & handled without damaging the wings.
After the cocooning, they undergo such growth that if you surgically remove one wing, the other three will grow larger and it will still be able to fly.
You can cut off a wing, but it will still fly. “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15).
In the cocoon, the wings form a structure that is compressed from top to bottom, and pleated so it can be rapidly unfolded to its full size. After it emerges from this stage, though, it can’t fly until the wings are unfolded. The new butterfly has to first spend time inflating its wings with blood and letting them dry. The butterfly has to dry out, recover.
I know something about going through an intense time of pressure and needing time to recover.
Amazing. It’s the pressure and process that makes it able to do what it was designed to do. Fly. It can’t do what it was destined to do without the process.
I read that the Ancient Greek word for butterfly is psuche (psoo-khay) which means, “soul” or “mind.” The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon defines psuche as “the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul, etc.).” Maybe that’s not a coincidence, considering our souls and minds go through amazing transformation when we become believers in Christ.
The metamorphosis happens to make us strong…so we can fly.
If the Ancient Greek word for butterfly means soul, and the definition means the basis of our feelings and desires, then maybe our soul is designed to transform like a butterfly. Maybe our desires, feelings, affections and aversions are supposed to morph into beautiful things that are meant to fly, too. Maybe it’s okay that I’m questioning what it is I really want anyway and chasing after it.
And maybe God sent all those butterflies to me today to show me that.