Day 78: new wings

Does the butterfly forget the condition of it’s former self as it sets it’s wings in flight, soaring above the ground it had once crawled upon in the most lowly state?

Doe the butterfly remember where it came from? Does it remember what it once looked like before it was arrayed with glorious color and splendor?

I think it does. I think the butterfly soars with wings of freedom and delight, knowing that it is no longer what it once was.

I think it remembers that it has been given the precious gift of new life as it emerges from a dark and confining cocoon, when all it can remember from before was the limited body it once had which could only crawl on the ground, but never soar in the air.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Have we forgotten the condition of our former selves prior to our experience with Jesus Christ? As I soar upon my new wings, arrayed in glorious color and splendor, I forget. I forget that I was once lost, yet now I’m found. I forget that I could not even fathom the heights of His love. I forget that all I knew before was to crawl around in a state of complacency and darkness.  I forget that I did not have the power to transform myself, but it was in His death that I have died and have new life. I forget that I needed to be made free and that I am truly free indeed.

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit  gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3: 1-8

As I forget these things, I don’t appreciate my new wings very much. I am not fascinated with the fact that I can fly and soar to great heights and perform tasks I never could have before with my limited existence. When I forget what has been done for me and the One who did it all, I become blind to the reality of who I really am. I am still arrayed with glory and splendor as this is what I have been created to be, but I start to revert back to my caterpillar ways, even though I take great pride in these wings, as though somehow I made them myself.  They are somehow not enough.

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:25

May we all soar with the beautiful wings that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died and was raised again to give us.  May we, like the butterfly, acknowledge our utter helplessness to transform ourselves, and  may we truly appreciate the transformation as we fly from flower to flower rejoicing in what our Transformer has done.  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

May we confess our lowliness daily so that we may appreciate the wings our God is faithful to provide. May we trust in Him and Him alone. In Jesus’ name.

Day 59: why rush it?

There is a gorgeous rhododendron tree in my front yard. I gaze out at it and I can see the fullness of it’s buds.  It is getting ready to bloom and it will be very soon. Rhodys are one of the first flowers to bloom in the Spring. I wish they could last through the summer, but they bloom in all their glory and then they fall away pretty quickly. At this moment though, the tree is just getting ready for the beautiful display to come. It is not quite there yet. It’s time has not yet come. When the time is right the tree will know just what to do.  We give the tree the time it needs.

We wouldn’t necessarily think about rushing this process, would we? We can get excited about the signs we see of it’s coming blooms. We can be filled with expectation, but we let nature take its course. Prying open a bud would not get us too far. Perhaps someone with a greenhouse and a green thumb might safely get this process going faster, but most of us wouldn’t have a clue. We simply wait. Why rush it? We couldn’t even if we wanted to.

How many of us would worry about this though? Probably not too many of us. But there are plenty of things we may be inclined to worry about. Plenty of things we wish we were experiencing right now. Plenty of things that have not yet arrived. WE HOPE FOR these things. We may see signs of these things, but unlike our assurance that a flower will bloom, we don’t know if what WE HOPE FOR will come to fruition. We just don’t know.

But one thing is for sure, FAITH is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

We may not see the flower yet, but we know it is coming. We believe it will bloom.  We don’t doubt it.

May we stand on the promises God has given to us through His Word. May we put our trust in the One who told us He would rise from the dead and has. May we put our trust in Jesus, who told us He is coming again and will. Thank You Jesus!!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11