Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Butterfly Effect

In the last couple of weeks, I've been undergoing what feels like open heart surgery without the anesthesia.  God has allowed circumstances into my life that have tested every fiber of my being, as well as my devotion to Him.  However strong I believed my faith and dedication to be, He has since shown me just how weak it really was - a revelation that has caused me to question absolutely everything in my life.  Interestingly, during these last two weeks we've had a collection of caterpillars on our front porch.  They've crawled their way to the top and prepared for the next stage in their life.  As I watched them hang head down, I thanked God that I didn't have to do the same as I underwent my own transforming changes. Can you imagine the headache?  I've been checking on the ones I can see each day when I come home or leave to go out and the process has been completed for many.  They have broken free from the casing and departed with a new and beautiful form intact. What's interesting to me is that before they can emerge the beautiful winged creature that they do, their very organs are liquefied while in their protective covering.  Only after they've endured what sounds like an excruciatingly painful process, can they move forward and be what they were created to be.  How beautiful we all could be if we allowed our broken hearts and painful situations to transform us as the butterfly is transformed.

As the trials of the last couple of weeks have left me questioning my faith, life, and overall purpose, I find the arrival of these miraculous creatures to be a perfect parallel to what I've been enduring.  The interesting part now is the outcome.  Will I let what I've been experiencing make me beautiful?  Or, will I let it destroy everything I am?  I choose to be transformed into something more beautiful, but as God has plainly shown me, I can't do it on my own.  I'm realizing that no matter how close we are to the Lord, our natural tendency is always going to be contradictory to what He has in mind during times of testing.  I have fought against Him, cried to Him, and pleaded with Him over the last two weeks in ways I never have before, but it all comes down to one thing - the outcome.  In what ways will I be made better, and will I still love Him and devote my life to Him if the outcome isn't what I would choose?

As it turns out, we wont be made better if we don't choose Him.  In fact, during moments where I chose other than Him, I sprained my wrist, took hard falls down a mountain, and even lost my new kitten, Maisie. I loved that cat.  When I didn't choose Him, I didn't have peace, and when I didn't choose Him, I was not only not made better, but I was made worse.  In moments without Him, I'm not someone I even recognize, so I've discovered that whether or not His outcome is a picture that matches the one I've painted in my mind, I will love Him and devote myself to Him even more.  Only then will I be made more beautiful.

Are you going through something today that puts you on a team opposite God's?  Have you lost someone you love?  Do you struggle with addiction?  Are you going through a divorce? Have you or someone you know been abused either physically or emotionally?  Maybe you're just lost and don't know where to go. Whatever trials you're facing, God already knows about them and He's waiting to transform you into someone more beautiful than you already are.  Nothing enters our life that doesn't first pass through His hands. (1 Peter 1:5-7).  Sometimes just knowing that He's the author of all life is enough to make even the most heartbreaking situations beautiful.  Don't let the trials you face destroy you, and don't dwell so long on what isn't that you miss what actually is. God never promised an easy journey, but He did promise an amazing one.  Let the butterfly effect happen in your own life.  Embrace the things that hurt you as opportunities to grow closer to Him and become more beautiful than you've ever before been.  When you think you can't endure anymore, look up.  He's there promising to turn your pain into beauty.  Let Him.   

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13

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  1. To anyone wondering, my kitten came home last night!!

  2. Thanks for any prayers you may have sent up:)