The butterfly is one of God’s most beautiful creatures. It is one of a few things that look good to the natural eye. Unlike the snake, the spider or the lizard, we don’t squirm when we look at the butterfly. It’s beautiful colors and the grace by which it fly sets this creature apart.
The butterfly we all know is harmless. We are not threatened by the butterfly. We can sit around and watch them all day long and it’s no wonder to us that there are people who love to try and capture this creature.
There are people who spend hours a day, some all day seeking out and trying to catch them.
They put the butterfly on display; people use this image to make beautiful designs and one would think that since the butterfly has come through a not so beautiful process that it would not turn out the way that it does. For it starts out as an ugly caterpillar crawling around on the ground.
This green worm feeds on milkweed leaves; squirming its way from place to place and I don’t know whether the caterpillar is harmless or not but just the sight of one does something to you. Another thing about the caterpillar is that you don’t see people going around trying to catch one. It can crawl around all day long and the worst that could happen to it is somebody stepping on it.
This creature, the caterpillar, is nobody’s idea of a pet. But isn’t it amazing that the great architect of the universe our heavenly Father in His infinite wisdom, the great designer of the world made this creature to turn out as it did? What an awesome God.
Somebody is wondering why I’m talking about such an ugly creature as the caterpillar. But my community family, if anybody can identify with this ugly caterpillar, we Christian believers surely can. Because in this creature we see a lot of ourselves.
For like the caterpillar in its infant stage we were bound by the ugliness of sin; but having emerged from that ugly cocoon of sin and shame, the hand of Jesus touched us, and now we are no longer the same.
Sin is like a cancer, it eats away at you slowly but surely until it consumes you. It tears up homes and breaks up marriages. I don’t care how high a person puts him or herself, we can be a rich sinner, a dignified sinner, an educated sinner or a well dressed sinner, but in the eyes of God we are all just sinners (Rom.3:23)
For we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity” ( Psalms 51:5). Sin pays wages, “for the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).
Many of us for years walked around like the caterpillar and just like the caterpillar we needed a transformation.
But thanks be to God we received an elevation. From disgrace to grace and like the caterpillar one day there will be a graduation from mortality to immortality.
For there is yet another stage for the Christian that have been washed in the blood of Jesus. You see the life cycle of the butterfly occurs in four stages. It begins with an egg-the seed of the butterfly, which hatches into a worm. But that is not its destiny.
The worm must die to give birth to the butterfly. If the Lord should tarry his coming every Christian believer will eventually die and whatever we die from may deteriorate our bodies to the point that it may not be recognizable.
It is laid in the earth, a poor helpless thing completely in the power of death. But when Jesus returns, our bodies will rise with heavenly life and vigor infused into them and we shall at the resurrection have bodies that will be made perfect. The bodies of the saints, when they shall rise again, will be greatly changed from what they are now, and much for the better. So even though like the butterfly we were born in sin, an ugly caterpillar crawling, squirming our way from place to place, through the power of God we were transformed by the transformer into a beautiful butterfly; we have been through a “butterfly syndrome” we are not what we ought to be, but thank God we are not what we used to be.
The Rev. George T. Ellis is pastor of Union Grove Baptist Church. Reach him at [email protected]