The other morning I was in our garden taking photos of bees. Just as I was leaning in with my camera towards a furry bumble bee, about to capture the perfect shot, something fluttered across the lens. I lifted my head to see a very large butterfly!
Butterflies have become a scarcity around these parts in the last few years, so this was a wonderful surprise and even more wonderful was that she kept still while I photographed her.
I’ve always been fascinated with butterflies and with the concept of metamorphosis, which is why many of the pieces in my jewellery shop are butterfly themed.
While reading about butterflies a couple of years ago, for my jewellery pieces, I read about diapause. It’s quite a fascinating subject, not least because there are so many lessons we can learn from this process that insects experience.
The Change Resistant Butterfly
At any stage during a caterpillar’s development, if the environment becomes ‘unfavourable’, the caterpillar can go into a period of dormancy called diapause. Diapause is described as “a period of arrested development”. The insect simply remains suspended in its current state of transformation. Sometimes the insect can even put off changing until the following Spring , because their current environment doesn’t seem favourable.
Are you Change Resistant?
Isn’t that so like us? We know, intellectually that we cannot remain in the cocoon of our comfort zone forever, but we also know that there’s a cost to change. It will alter our current condition forever. We don’t know what that change might bring, and so we cling to what feels familiar and secure. Fear of the unknown causes us to stay where we are.
I’ve been there – many times! Have you? We talk about change, we know it’s vital for our spiritual growth and development. Sometimes we even see clearly the areas in our lives where God wants to bring the change. Then just as we are faced with the moment of choice, the opportunity to break free of that cocoon, a kind of ‘spiritual diapause’ invades our thoughts with excuses. “Real change is going to take too long”, “It’s not the right time, I’ll wait till that conference I’m going to next month”, “My family takes up too much of my time, I’ll wait until they’ve all grown up and left home”. Does that sound familiar, or is it just me?
And we become ‘arrested’ in our development, just like that caterpillar 🐛. Giving up all the wonderful things God wants to do in and through us; forfeiting a life of flying for a life of confinement in a cocoon!
Just imagine what a different historical picture we would have, had Moses decided to stay in his comfort zone when God told him go to Pharaoh and tell him to free the Israelites! Moses wasn’t comfortable with the idea. He didn’t exactly jump at the opportunity! “But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” Exodus 4:13
Yes, God could have picked someone else had Moses refused, but God wanted Moses, ineloquent as Moses believed himself to be- and look at the great leader he turned out to be!
Living The God Life! (The life He intends for you)
While she’s munching her way through life as a caterpillar, the little creature has no idea just how very limited her life is in comparison to what lies ahead!
Then, while she is tucked up in the safety and comfort of the cocoon, does she think (if caterpillars could think) “this is so wonderful, cool and comfortable. I never want to leave this place”.
And all the while, if she only knew what God had in store, just around the corner!
Once that butterfly emerges, free from the cocoon with her beautiful wings, she can soar through the air – no more inching up prickly branches, no more confined, cramped space. She now sees everything from a whole new perspective because view is no longer limited. The butterfly is now living its life as God intended.
In conclusion, let’s not allow fear to feed us a false sense of security, keeping us in ‘diapause’ – in our comfort zones. Of course there will be times and seasons that will be trying, that’s how we grow, but let’s now allow those times to make us change resistant.
God is for us, not against us. His will for us is always good. He is changing and transforming us and He is Faithful to complete the transformation. Let’s not resist Him.
Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
2 Corinthians 3:18b “And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.