A few weeks ago, Dr. Harold Coble, a retired professor at NC State, brought our daughter Sarah Kate about 20 tiny monarch caterpillars. He provided a cage and needed food, the milkweed plant. Monarchs begin as eggs before turning into caterpillars and then butterflies.
In case you don’t know much about monarchs, they must have milkweed. Adult monarchs lay eggs on the milkweed. The milkweed provides nourishment for the caterpillars. The caterpillars enjoy their milkweed buffet until it is time (in our case to climb to the top of the cage) and build a chrysalis. The chrysalis is a beautiful green and gold. Just before the butterfly emerges, you are able to see the orange and black wings. The entire life cycle takes approximately 28 to 32 days to complete. When the monarch emerges, it soon dries its wings, has a little nectar from a flower and then begins an amazing journey to Canada!
The incredible monarch reminds us about the need for nourishment, God’s perfect timing and transformation. As Christians, we receive the bread of life and living water from Jesus himself. We don’t have to worry about a shortage of these essentials unlike milkweed for monarchs or for us, toilet paper during a pandemic. Many of us have questioned the timing of the Coronavirus in our daily lives. We have struggled with uncertainties that can never be solved this side of heaven. However, we can trust that God’s timing is perfect.
Finally, we see that we, like the caterpillar, are being transformed daily. We don’t stay a small, fragile egg or caterpillar. As Jesus changes us, we also undergo a metamorphosis. Ours takes longer than 28-32 days, so don’t be discouraged with what the Lord is doing in you.
The Apostle Paul must have thought a lot of about transformation. In Philippians 1:6 he tells us, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” He also reminds us in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 commands “and we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Like the butterfly, we are given what we need when we need it. Most importantly, we are constantly being changed and transformed. During this continued time of uncertainty, be encouraged. The Lord is at work! He will deliver to us peace, comfort and joy!
Holy Trinity Member
*This article has been republished from the Holy Trinity Student Ministry weekly newsletter dated May 13, 2020. If you would like to receive this information-rich newsletter, subscribe now.