Butterflies Are Beautiful! That was the title of a lovely letter I received from Patricia King as a partner of her ministry.
I’m sharing it here with you because it captures what’s in my heart as I reflect on the last four and a half months of my life since I injured my back. Being practically immobile (limited range of motion due to pain) turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me because it became a period of sanctification. Looking back now, I would not trade this time for anything because I truly came out better for it.
Being confined to my home and having all this extra time to myself afforded me the opportunity to Be Still before the Lord, dwell in His presence and learn to trust His sovereign timing on a much deeper level.
What specifically did I do with my time before the Lord? I took my cue from a woman in the bible: the young, loyal and courageous widow Ruth.
Following her example, I spent my time…
- Washing myself with the water of the Word of God;
- Anointing myself by spending time in His presence, praying, praising and worshipping;
- And going down to the threshing floor and letting God do His shifting work in me (See Ruth 3:3)
Not that I wasn’t doing those things before. What was different is that now I suddenly had loads of time to W-A-I-T before the Lord, and go deeper, since I was not rushing off to get somewhere else. My usual morning hour of time with God turned into hours spent throughout the day in prayer, worship and plenty of silence.
In the partner letter I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Patricia King uses the metaphor of the metamorphosis process of a caterpillar to paint a picture that I completely relate to:
Butterflies were not always butterflies. They were transformed from a caterpillar through a process of metamorphosis that served its emergence into its glory. The process of metamorphosis is not pleasant, as their old form literally dissolves to nothing before they struggle to emerge in their new form. They lose themselves in order to become new. If they do not submit to the process then they will never experience the beauty of what they were created to be.
Like the caterpillar’s unpleasant transformation, we sometimes also go through ‘die-to-self” processes that don’t seem pleasant, and yet wonderful and new things will emerge if we yield to what the Spirit is doing.
Have you ever felt like you were challenged on every side and couldn’t find any of your old tools that worked to get you through? That could be a sign that you are entering a stage of transformation where the old is laid on the altar and the “die-to-self” process takes place so that the new can emerge. Maybe just do what the butterfly does in the process….yield.
Jesus has enveloped you in His love and glory, and in that environment you are being transformed into something so beautiful.”
Had King been spying on me for the last four months? It felt as if she wrote that letter just for me.
I like the way she compares the metamorphosis process to the die-to-self process because it illustrates perfectly my experience of the last four and a half months of my life.
Since that fateful day in March, when I injured my back, there have been many shifts on the inside of me. There has also been healing in the deepest parts of my soul from childhood wounds. I had known for some time that I needed healing at the soul level. But who wants to revisit the pain of the past, right? It was like God was showing me that healing simply could not wait any longer.
He needed me to Be Still, so He could have His way with me, and bring about beauty for ashes, as He always promised He would.
God is faithful, and He is ever so willing to heal the broken places in your life. He desires to see you set free, and delivered from the pain of the past.
All we need to do is get quiet and still long enough for Him to do His sifting work.
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