I was reading a book yesterday and the author was talking about her mid-life crisis and how she likened her gradual spiritual enlightening to that of a caterpillar entering the chrysalis and exiting as a beautiful butterfly. I loved the analogy and haven’t been able to get it off my mind ever since. I don’t think it takes a mid-life crisis to be able to relate to this analogy it just takes the desire to be like Jesus and willingly accept the heart makeover that is a necessary element of that journey.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, 18”And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
I think it’s a misnomer to believe that every Christian will desire to continually undergo heart renovation. However, for those that have a longing to have the heart of Christ, this verse has two keys to that transformation. The first is an unveiled face – or open heart. You have to be willing to continually challenge your way of thinking. The caterpillar has to be willing to build the chrysalis that will entomb it enduring the hard work of transformation into a beautiful butterfly.
There is another aspect of 1 Corinthians 3:18 that stands out to me. According to this verse, the change “comes from the Lord”. That is huge. Yes it takes a decision on our part to enter into the chrysalis, so to speak, but once there it’s the Lord’s work, not ours. We cannot make ourselves righteous – our own effort isn’t enough. We must allow God’s Spirit to lead us through whatever trial or situation necessary and allow that process to take whatever time is needed. The caterpillar doesn’t remain in his cocoon for only a day; it takes a season to conclude its metamorphosis. We wait for God to act and in his timeframe, the beautiful transformed heart emerges.
I distinctly remember my time of entering the chrysalis as I maneuvered my way through life single again, parenting two children. My time of waiting definitely wasn’t passive as I was experiencing change in almost every single area of my life, but I had given up trying to control or figure out what to “do”; nothing I had worked hard to preserve had been salvaged. Instead I lived my life on a day to day basis the best I could, and let my circumstances rise or fall around me. The constants in my life were my relationship with God, my children, and a few of my friends, but everything else was different. My time of waiting lasted approximately two years. I didn’t poke my head out of the chrysalis on a specific date like the beautiful butterfly; one day I just realized that I was flying and not crawling and happy instead of numb. The butterfly had emerged and I was different and God had changed me. The most important decision I made during that time was to open my heart and let God use my life and situation for his glory. I believe that is all you can do as you wait.
As I enter the chrysalis
The agonizing wait begins
The crucible of spiritual transformation
Lies in the offering of
A fully engaged heart
There is agony in conversion
Knowing even as I enter
That I must be willing to change
For if a true revolution occurs
I will be unrecognizable
To all who once knew me
I see life through different eyes
And a renewed heart
I emerge from the chrysalis
With stunning color and breadth of wing
Now able to soar