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Being a Caterpillar by Dr. Lynnette Simm

I was up unusually late last night because my head and heart were spinning. Try as I may, I couldn’t get my mind to lay all my stress and worry over to the Lord without detailing every detail. So as my husband was sleeping deeply, I picked up my phone and texted my friend Crystal. I know she’s a night owl, and I needed some help. I started with the usual text of: “Any chance you’re awake?” She was quick to reply, “Yes.” Then she asked, “What’s up?”

I explained to her all that was spinning in my head. Moving, selling, building, My youngest wants to get an apartment next year. My eldest seems, sadly, okay without us. Madison is still having many side effects and very fatigued after his heart attack. I could go on and on. I explained to Crystal that while I know I’m in the Lord’s hands, I’m feeling dizzy with all the possibilities, and overwhelmed by all the emotions. Crystal was quick to give me a beautiful piece of scripture to help me focus: “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). That is your inheritance! Not anxiety or fear. I responded, “Way up here in God’s arms, it’s dizzying, especially because I don’t know which direction He is going.”

And that’s when she shared with me about the caterpillar. “In a butterfly chrysalis you are hidden away—the caterpillar can do nothing. It is glued, stuck upside down in what would feel like a horrible situation but it’s completely at peace! And God has given that caterpillar everything it needs while it is in there. He never left it.”

Wow! Just re-read that and let it settle in. Bound up, upside down, with no control, but with faith and knowledge that what the Lord has planned will be amazing, the caterpillar stays completely at peace. This doesn’t mean that the caterpillar didn’t wiggle a little, experience discomfort, or plan for its safety, but once wrapped up in the cocoon, the caterpillar surrenders to the Lord’s plan.

That’s is how we are all feeling. Life is hard, on any given day, but especially for us all because of the virus, election, and economy. We feel trapped inside our homes, inside our stresses, inside our own minds, filled with what-ifs, and our struggles are real. But what would happen if we submit to the Lord’s plan with the same peace as a crystallized, cocooned caterpillar, waiting patiently glued, upside down and hidden away with the knowledge of the amazing transformation coming?

Let’s do a reality check. It is true that this amazing transformation will take time, sometimes way more than we want. And it’s true that for some the transformation will occur once we ascend to Heaven. But the other truth is that it will happen! We will be transformed. We will be beautiful inside and out. We will spread our wings with the glory of God lifting us up. And here is another truth: “And God has given that caterpillar everything it needs while it is in there. He never left it.” God promises to provide all that we need, in His timing, and He never leaves us. Wow, again. I’m in awe at how awesome our Lord is.

When I replied to Crystal after her story I said, “Well, thanks for the butterfly 🦋 story. Does help. But upside down and waiting sucks, God. But I guess He already knows…lol.” It is hard. It does require effort, patience, and faith. So reach out to a friend. Make that late night text or answer one and share each other’s burdens during this time and throughout life. God gave us community for this purpose. Calm each other as we hang upside down being caterpillars because our butterfly hearts are in there.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”‭‭ 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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