Around fifteen years ago; my wife and I bought a farm house on acreage just south of Belton. It was a fixer upper; inside and out. There was plenty of work to do on the house which kept us busy enough, but to add to it, there was always a new adventure living in the country as you would be hard pressed with unwanted wildlife and bugs and the constant battle of keeping the place mowed. Both of us grew up in small town suburbia with our shoe box size yard and minimal wildlife and bugs; so country life was a challenge to say the least.
I have many horror stories of the challenges that I found living in that fixer upper in the country, but I also have multiple unique stories of things that I would not have experienced living in suburbia.
There was one time, I was walking out to the mail box and in my right peripheral vision; I saw movement on the entire tree trunk. As I slowly walk up to the big tree; I realize that the movement was Monarch butterflies. Hundreds of them covered the entire tree as they were resting from migrating. The tree slowly pulsated as they would flutter their tawny wings. It was a beautiful site to see. Too bad it was before cell phone cameras, because otherwise, I would have a picture to go with this.
This group of Monarchs were born late summer, so they would migrate to warmer climates until spring where they return to mate. Just a few weeks before this group was born; they were a different creature. They were caterpillars that crawled around in the dirt. These caterpillars went through an amazing process called metamorphosis. This is where the caterpillar changes into a butterfly by spinning a silk pad to hang upside down from. It then sheds its skin creating an exoskeleton and thus converting into the pupal stage. Inside the pupal, the caterpillar basically dies. I am told that the caterpillar’s organs dissolve and they covert their DNA into a different creature.
After two weeks of the pupal stage; the caterpillar comes back to life or resurrects into a different creature. They are no longer a caterpillar that crawls in the dirt, but now a butterfly with wings that slowly emerge allowing it to have full freedom as it flies through the air.
Metamorphosis is an amazing process that scientists even struggle to explain. The word metamorphosis comes from Greek word that the Apostle Paul uses Romans chapter twelve to explain how God changes us.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
The word translated “transformed” is the idea of ‘changing one’s entire life as a result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness.’ This is a full word within itself, but to add to it; Paul gives it as a command and that we are to continually do this. This is a daunting task for us to muster up the strength to change ourselves for the better and to continue on doing it day after day.
Not to leave you hopeless; I did fail to mention that this is written in the passive voice, showing that an outside force must do this. You are unable to do this yourself!
Paul recognized that mankind is unable within themselves to change into something different, but God is that outside force that is in the business of changing mankind into a new creation.
Through simple belief in Christ’s death and resurrection; God transforms us into a new creation. It is Christ now working through us by changing our thinking and guiding our actions so we are able to glorify Him in our lives. This is so He gets all of the Glory for anything that we do.
If you are in Christ; you are no longer crawling in the dirt like the caterpillar, but you are now a new creation that has the ability to soar with wings like the butterfly enjoying the freedom that is yours in Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV