The Christian life can be compared to the four stages in a butterfly’s growth. The butterfly begins life as an egg. It emerges from the egg as a larva, which is known as a caterpillar. I have never seen a pretty caterpillar. As the caterpillar progresses through its growth stages known as instars, it sheds its skin several times — but its looks do not improve. When the caterpillar has fully matured, it anchors itself to a base and molts for the final time, transforming itself into a chrysalis or pupa. In this phase, the caterpillar is still not very attractive. But the creature which emerges from the cocoon is anything but ugly. A radical alteration has occurred so that the ugly caterpillar’s body has been transformed into a beautiful butterfly.
Christians experience different stages of growth as well, and they are not all pretty. Being saved is only the beginning of a lifetime of growth and transformation into the image of Christ. As we endure hardships and disappointments, spend time in Bible reading and prayer, listen attentively to the preaching of God’s Word, and earnestly attempt to apply the lessons God teaches us to our lives, He transforms us from ugly sinners into beautiful, dedicated saints. The process is slow and tedious, but the end result is a work of true beauty.
You may look in the mirror and see a life which is ugly and incomplete. You may see your flaws and shortcomings accented as you relate to others. You might feel as if you will never reach spiritual maturity and be the Christian God wants you to be. After making yet another mistake, you think you have finally crossed the line and God will never be able to use you. God is not finished with you yet. Just as He has planned the caterpillar’s transformation into a creature of beauty, so He has plans for your spiritual maturity. Keep the end in sight, and you’ll be alright.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.
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