The Birth (Ps. 139:14; Deut. 31:6)
Butterfly eggs are laid on a particular leaf or plant, the choice of which is determined by mama butterfly tasting the leaf with her feet. This tasting will tell her whether her babies will use the leaf for food when they escape their shelled homes. Isn’t this amazing? The butterfly is preparing for her delivery and even preparing for her children in the changed environment that they will encounter. As time progresses, the larvae within the eggs constantly nibble on the shells, and eventually those shells become their first meal before they venture unto the host plant (their food) that mama butterfly sensibly laid the eggs on. Is this natural instinct that’s laid within the butterfly’s brain?
When preparing us for changes in our lives, God creates within us the natural instinct to deal with life changes.
Consider pregnant females: their bodies change to adapt to new life within them. Even their brains, according to developing research, change “to help cater to the needs of their infants.” A neuroimaging expert says, “Being a new mum is hard and you have to adjust an awful lot. Your brain is going to be able to respond to that change and it is going to make it so that you can take care of this newborn bundle of joy.”1
Aren’t mothers blessed to be “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14)? The new mother’s brain adapts so that she can be a great parent. When preparing us for changes in our lives, God creates within us the natural instinct to deal with life changes. He never leaves us on our own to fight (Deut. 31:6).
Let’s Molt as We Nourish (1 Cor. 10:1–13)
In the butterfly scenario, larvae escape into the unknown world and may stay on the exact plant or leaf, constantly feeding on it. They need to eat as much as they can so that they can reach the next developmental stage. This constant eating, however, causes the caterpillar to grow very fast, but its exoskeleton doesn’t grow with it. As a result, this exoskeleton sheds, or molts, four or more times during this stage.
As humans, we grow older every day, not just physically but mentally too. We learn basic life skills from our parents, schooling, neighborhood, church, and other influences that are present. All of these influences feed the outcome of our attitudes and character. But just as with the caterpillar, some are exoskeletons that we just can’t grow with anymore. If we are preparing for that stage in life, even eternally, we have to molt certain attitudes, and at the same time we will have to take certain foods constantly in order to be better prepared. Read 1 Corinthians 10:1–13. The children of Israel were all drinking the spiritual drink (verse 4), and they were growing; but not all of them were shedding the sins of this world, and God was not pleased (verses 5–10). Second, consider Zachariah and Elizabeth’s child, John the Baptist (Luke 1:13–17), and Samson’s mother (Judg. 13:7): they both were commanded not to use strong drink and unclean foods because God was preparing them for something great.
Greatness needs sacrifice, and if we believe it’s too hard to give up something, 1 Corinthians 10:13 states that with every temptation a way of escape is provided for us. This may not be easy, and similar to the four or more times the caterpillars molt, we, too, will have a repetitive period to remove just one sin.
It’s Time to Pupate! (Mark 1:35)
There comes a time when we need to escape the world and concentrate. We still don’t know our exact outcome, just like a caterpillar who doesn’t know that it will be a butterfly. But we can lay the unknowns of our changes in God’s known hands, for He knows everything.
While we make that escape, many will think we are resting, just like the outer world looks upon an inactive cocoon where a world of wonders are taking place. Within the cocoon, the caterpillar is digesting itself. The juices that were used to digest its food at the larval stage are now digesting the caterpillar’s body. This digestion turns the body into cells. These cells will transform and make the new body. This process can be as fast as two weeks and as slow as months.
Similarly, we need to give way to the Holy Spirit, who is willing to be released within us but never can be until we accept and realize that we need Him to in order to become changed. The Holy Spirit will break down what we ate, especially from the Bible, as we prepare for life changes. Take note that this process may take a while, but what better approach do we have but to set aside time to communicate with Heaven; Jesus did it (Mark 1:35), and who am I not to? There Christ received His preparation and skills to face His challenges.
From the birth to the pupate stage of a butterfly’s life cycle, there isn’t an actual butterfly. That is because at the completion of these three stages, a butterfly does not appear. However, these forms are the process needed to become a butterfly. Only at the end is the butterfly formed and released. As humans our butterfly is released after we go through a series of changes. These changes are made possible and less stressful when we prepare. When we realize our glorious end, we will be willing to prepare for change so that we will be beauti-fly individuals.
1. What major life change(s) am I soon to face, and how am I preparing?
2. How am I preparing for my heavenly citizenship?