From Caterpillars to Butterflies to New Life in Christ

God uses creation to teach us about his plans for us! | by Emmalea Butler

monarch butterflyOne of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD; plans for good and not for evil, plans to give you hope and a future." I recently read some incredible things about the Monarch butterfly, from a devotional book by Richard and Tina Kleiss titled, A Closer Look at the Evidence.  This little creature could not have evolved or just happened. There's no other explanation for its complexity than having been intelligently designed by our Creator! 

Here are a few things quoted in the book about what scientists have discovered about the Monarch butterfly:
1. The female Monarch butterfly uses 6 sharp needles on her forelegs to test for food's chemical composition.
2. The caterpillar increases in weight 2,700% in 20 days!
3. The female butterfly can smell a male butterfly 2 miles away!
4. The female butterfly can store sperm and delay egg-laying for months IF she is impregnated too close to migration time.
5. The butterfly navigates alone to a never-before-seen location over 2,000 miles away!
6. As a caterpillar it digests only one type of plant, the milkweed, which is poisonous to other animals that eat it, but not to this caterpillar.
7. The monarch butterfly chemically reconstructs itself from a caterpillar with 6 simple eyes which can only see in black and white, having a chewing mouthpiece, 16 legs, and the ability to crawl. Yet, it becomes a butterfly with 2 eyes that can see in color (each with 6,000 lenses), a sucking mouthpiece, 6 legs, 4 wings and the ability to fly! The probability of random-chance mutations evolving this perfectly timed, chemically miraculous metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a monarch butterfly is far beyond the realm of reason.

In reading and thinking about this amazing little creature, 2 Corinthians 5:17 came to mind, "If any man be in Christ he is an new creation; the old is passed away, behold the new is born."

Trusting in Jesus Christ as our Savior; coming to him and admitting that we know we are sinners and have no place in God's kingdom, because of our imperfect nature, brings with it a miracle gift of transformation, a metamorphosis. Jesus will forgive us, wipe our sins from us, and give us new life! 

Remember how the butterfly was immediately equipped with the ability to navigate to a never-before-seen location over 2,000 miles away? When you ask Jesus to forgive your sins, you become a new creature---a Christian. You also receive the promise of eternal life in God's new Heaven and Earth, which is far beyond the realm of this old world; even further than the butterfly's 2,000 miles! And as Christians, we can trust in navigating through life and into God's kingdom, beginning here and now, because our Savior guides and directs us, when we truly trust in him.

I also thought it was interesting that the milkweed was poisonous to other creatures that ate it, but not when the caterpillar digested it. In the Christian metamorphosis, before trusting Jesus to re-create us, much of the meaning of the Bible is hidden from us, it is difficult to understand, and often bitter to the taste, because we have not been transformed. Some will feel confused and refuse to feed on God's Word

Yet, after receiving Christ as Savior, we become hungry to read and hear the Word of GOD. Miraculously, we are able to digest the Word to grow and transform us into the new creature God has planned for us, to understand his plans for good, and not evil, for hope and a future. A Christian lives and grows by digesting the Word of GOD!

Those last facts about the Monarch butterfly, those marvelous outward changes, teach us about the new life of a Christian:

The eyes of the caterpillar changed from having 6 eyes looking in many directions, to having 2 eyes with 6,000 lenses each. And as a new Christian, we no longer have to look in so many places to find happiness. We can now see with sharper eyesight the things we should flee from---things that hurt us---and run to those things that will give us joy and please our Heavenly Father! 

The caterpillar could only see in black and white. The butterfly changed to having the ability to see in color.  As a Christian, we see things so much clearer and vivid as to where to go, what to do, and how to find JOY! Things we participated in or observed before our transformation didn't bother us at all. Yet, now our hearts break as a Christian, as we see what we never noticed before, such as seeing people do things that dishonor God or treat others cruelly. This may have been our way of life at one time, but now, we know it hurts God's heart and we no longer want to be around those things. We have better vision! 

The caterpillar had a chewing mouthpiece. Before we became a Christian, we wasted words that came from our mouths; talking about others, complaining, and telling lies, just chewing words that were worthless and hurt others. But as a new creation, we have the ability to suck in God's Word, digest it well, and then share it with others. Our words find ways of encouraging and edifying. Our desire is to take in sweetness (like the butterfly's nectar) and give out sweetness  by encouraging others. This is pleasing God! 

A caterpillar with 16 legs has only the ability to crawl. But when it becomes a butterfly, though reduced to having 6 legs, there is the gain of four wings and the ability to fly! In our new lives as Christians we no longer crawl slowly, we have less to weigh us down, as Hebrews 12:1 says, "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." We are much quicker to move in the direction God wants us to go. Jesus promises to never leave us or forsake us. This gives us courage and the ability to do so much more than we ever thought would be possible for our lives. We must trust him and his guidance; we can fly, fully trusting in Jesus. |

Don't you just love how our new life in Christ is pictured clearly for us in the life of the butterfly's metamorphosis? Take time to look closely at this amazing world, from the tiniest of things to the largest, there is more to discover in God's marvelous creation. 

For the challenge: LOOK in the mirror. SEE YOU! See the beautiful creation you are, and the potential within you! Honor God in all things. Show God's beauty to others. Point them to the Creator, so they will find him too! 

Copyright 2018 Emmalea Butler

*The English word, metamorphosis, is from the Greek word metamorphoo, meaning changed or transformed. This word is used in Scripture referring to Christ's transfiguration in Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2. It is also used in Romans 12:2 regarding transformation by the renewing of our minds as we grow in Christ. And then again in 2 Corinthians 3:18, referring to being transformed by the Holy Spirit into God's image. Interestingly, the term used for new creation in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is the Greek word, kitisis, meaning creation from nothing, and only God can create something from nothing! Being transformed into God's likeness is a miracle, we can't do it on our own. It is by grace we are saved through faith, not of ourselves, it is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).

Teach this to children using our NEW LIFE PUPPETS.
Puppets New Life in Christ


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