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Cocoons Produce Butterflies

June 8, 2010

Over the last few years I have learned that one of the greatest joys I experience is walking alongside someone who is disillusioned, struggling, confused, or disenchanted by their faith. It is messy, difficult, disheartening at times, and when change comes it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.

Most of us have learned about the process of how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly. They create a cocoon and after spending time inside they are transformed, changed, and created into something new. After a time of transformation they come out new and beautiful. The process of emerging is a time of struggle, possibly painful, and completely necessary. If we attempt to help them out of the cocoon instead of letting them struggle they are left crippled and broken.

A walk of faith is very similar to the process the butterfly goes through. We are created by God, and we start life in a quest for something more. We gather and learn, feeding on the various truths we are exposed to in life. Some of them make us strong and healthy while others do not. At a point in time we are drawn to change, to transform, to become something greater than what we started as. We are drawn toward God and asked to surrender to his ways, ways that will transform us and create us into something new. We are promised that if we will allow him to do this work in our life, to surround us ad enter into us that we will become a brand new creation.

When we make the decision to enter into this process we open ourselves for the Lord to do a work in us that we could not do on our own. He has the ability to make us into someone we could never be without his power and grace. We enter into a cocoon, a time of change and transformation. For some that change happens quickly and our lives are altered almost immediately. For others the process takes longer, especially if they have entered into this process with a lot of things they are not yet ready to let go of or if they carry things they do not know how to let go of.

Some people have a difficult time ever emerging from the cocoon. It is a place of safety in some ways, and hard work in other ways. They enter into the transformation process, but they never emerge on the other side. They become stuck, confused, disillusioned, or overwhelmed. Some die or break in the process of becoming the beautiful creation the Lord desires for them. It is not because they did not believe, but they have been bound up, captured, and held back in a way they do not know how to emerge from. Opening the cocoon for them will not help. When that occurs they do emerge, but they are not who they were designed to become. They are crippled, weakened, broken, or deformed. The process of things that were to be formed and developed was not completed.

At times as we walk with others we want to open the cocoons for them, or to force them from their cocoons before they are ready. There is no set time or process of what our transformation looks like. It is different and unique for each person, but it is available for each of us.

Our role as we walk alongside and share in community with others is to encourage them to make the choice to accept the offer to transform, to cheer them on as they accept the promise that a new life and transformation will  be given to them, and to empower them to complete the process and emerge from the cocoon on their own. Discipleship and community are not about carrying the load for others, or taking responsibility for them, but to guide and teach them how to move from crawling, to walking, to a transformation where they will fly in all the glory of what they were designed to become.

What helped you embrace the process of being changed and transformed?

How can were you empowered and/or how can we empower others?

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