“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (New International Version)
Miracles are all around us. The transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly is one such miracle. There seems to be an unwritten law that whenever a butterfly flutters into your path you have to stop what you are doing and take a moment to appreciate the beauty that God has placed before you.
I remember learning as a child that butterflies are the product of a four-stage life cycle. This life cycle includes 1) the egg, 2) the caterpillar (larva), 3) the chrysalis (pupa or cocoon for moths), and 4) the adult butterfly. I know that I am not telling you anything new, but have you ever wondered about the biological process that is going on inside the chrysalis when the caterpillar is being transformed into a butterfly?
The first thing that happens in the chrysalis is the caterpillar turns itself into caterpillar soup with its own digestive juices in a process called histolysis. Only a small amount of the old caterpillar tissue survives this digestive process to become part of the new butterfly body. When the caterpillar body dies, special transformative cells called histoblasts are activated which reassemble the caterpillar soup into the body of the butterfly through a process called histogenesis. This miraculous transformation is completed in only 10-14 days at room temperature.
As I was pondering these amazing facts, I could not help but think about the equally amazing transformation of Saul to Paul that is described in the ninth chapter of the book of Acts. Just like in the life of Paul, God created each one of us to become “butterflies” through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Our relationship with Christ begins as a seed of faith that produces a new creation that is passionate for God and is ravenous for the truths of the Bible. As our faith and knowledge of the Truth grows, and we submit our lives to God, the ugliness of our past does not go away but is painfully dissolved and reshaped into something beautiful for God’s glory. Just as the butterfly lives to produce eggs, the mature believer lives to bring glory to God by spreading seeds of hope by sharing the Good News with those around us.
Dear Lord, thank you for butterflies and the miracles of histolysis and histogenesis. May you use your willing servants to carry on your miraculous process of “Christ-ogenesis.”