Everyone loves the story of the caterpillar. The little thing makes itself a cocoon and then poof it is a beautiful butterfly. You too little boys and girls can turn into what God wants you to be. It is just so lovely.
Of course just like most things that is only the part we see. The other part the part we do not see is the process. The process to go from caterpillar to butterfly is messy and destructive. The caterpillar basically dies. It releases enzymes that completely digest itself. Then it is reborn into a butterfly. For a time in that cocoon there is just butterfly goo. Just ooey gooey ukyness…
In Genesis 17:5 God gives Abram a new name, and while here is a lot that can be said about that. I only want to talk about the process from 12-17.
There are 13 years between Genesis 12 and Genesis 17. In between is the it’s my sister Egypt issue, Lot being captured, Melchizedek, Ishmael, and a host of other trials victories, learning and failings. 13 years between God calling Abram and turning him into Abraham. It took 13 years of ooey gooey ukyness to make an Abraham, and the process was by no means complete.
The New Testament is full of verses talking about dieing to yourself. Two of my favorites are Romans 6:4 and Galatians 2:20 (I even know a song for this one). Even more famous is Jesus teaching that you must pick up and carry your cross daily. The process to become what God wants you to be, to be what He has made you to be is hard, and it is painful.
I remember going through the “process” of going from being a boy to being a young man. There were hormones raging, legs that itched so bad, growing pains, and so on. It was horrible. I could not think straight, could not understand why I kept crying all the time, I could not even as some say. It was horrible but it was something I had to go through in order to become a man.
A walk with God is no different. We have to go through some growing, some changing, some itchy legs. It is a process and it is not an overnight one. It is not something that just happens. Some call it progressive sanctification, some call that heresy, but still say we grow and change. Either way I think we can all agree that you are not who you were before you gave your life over to Jesus. I would assume (and I know that is dangerous) that you have matured. That as Paul says you no longer think as a child. That you have moved on from mothers milk and eat solid food. At least I would hope you do.
Like Abraham you will still make mistakes and that is OK. God knows you are going to fail, He expects it, He sees it. That is a non issue. Failing is part of the process, but so is getting up. Abraham did not have 13 years of successes because there were some heavy failures in there. No he did not have 13 years of success, but what he did have was 13 years of growing. 13 years of maturing. 13 years of itchy legs, crying spells, caterpillar goo, and 13 years of growth.
Today we should stand up and realize that yesterday’s failures and successes have brought you to today. Shake off the dust and keep growing.
Just a thought,