A New Creation – Life Lessons from Butterflies

Last month was my oldest daughter’s birthday. My sister-in-love, a preschool teacher, decided to forgo the usual gifts of princesses, baby dolls, or crafts, and instead get Makaylan a Live Butterfly Adventure. A few days later we received a package with six tiny caterpillars inside. I, for the first time, was able to obverse – up close – the life cycle of a butterfly. It’s been fascinating to watch as these once creepy, crawly “bugs” have turned into six beautiful creatures. Watching this process has brought new life and meaning to some spiritual truths.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. (2 Cor 5:17)

First, we all begin in the dirt.

The day our six caterpillars arrived, I was shocked to find them crawling around in dirt. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a favorite book in our home. It tells the story of a hungry caterpillar who eats and eats and eats until he is ready to go into his cocoon. However, he eats leaves, fruit, and candy. As silly as it may seem, I didn’t expect to receive a jar full of dirt with crawly bugs inside. In my mind, they would be crawling on more sophisticated, cleaner things, like limbs and leaves. I watched as these caterpillars grew fat and dirty, all the while, eating more than their body weight in food.

I am reminded that, before Jesus awakens our soul and calls us to Himself, all we can do is crawl in the dirt. As a college pastor’s wife, every year I see Satan take a beautiful young woman, convince her she was made to feast off the dirt of life, and then eventually destroy herself. Maybe this is where you are in your life. The enemy has convinced you that you are nothing more than a “bug” that is destined to crawl around on your stomach and eat whatever the world throws at you. Please hear me: You don’t have to stay there. God has made you for more than what you are allowing the enemy to tell you. God wants to take you out of the dirt (sin) of life and do something amazing – transforming – in your life. 

Next, there must be a change.

After a week of non-stop eating, the caterpillars finally got tired. I watched as they crawled to the top of the container and became really still. Within a few days, I saw six small cocoons hanging from the top.

I have been doing some research on what happens while the caterpillar is in his cocoon. Many websites used the term “miracle” to describe the process of a caterpillar’s transformation into a beautiful butterfly. While inside the cocoon, the butterfly is literally being transformed from the inside out. Every part of his inner being is rearranging itself and recreating itself into something new. Ladies, Jesus desires to do the same to you. No amount of hard work or better decisions can change us from within. The change only occurs when we finally get tired of “living off” this world and what it offers and then turning our attention to Christ. We have to get still long enough to see the need in our life and desire something more. Jesus tell us, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28)

I want to encourage you, please stop trying to fix yourself or recreate yourself. Stop running from the Lord’s voice and instead run to Him. Please know that you do not have the power within yourself to stop living a life of sin. The power to overcome sin, and therefore be transformed into a new creation in Christ, is the work of God alone. When we stop, confess our sin, repent (turn) from our life sin, and get into the “cocoon” (shelter) of Jesus’ redeeming love, God will literally transform us from the inside out.

Finally, we are transformed into something new.

After a few days in their cocoons, we watched as the once-caterpillars began to emerge as butterflies. It was a fascinating sight! The cocoons would begin to split and then a butterfly would push its way out. This process took about a day, and during that time, I saw some things that pierced my heart.

In order for the butterflies to emerge successfully, they had to change locations. After the caterpillars spun their cocoons, I had to transfer them into the flight cage. There was not enough room inside the original container for the butterflies to emerge. Though it is God alone who transforms our heart and life into something new, many times, we must be willing to change our external situations. After I became a Christian, I had to literally get a new friend set. My former friends were not following Christ, and every time I was around them, I was tempted to go back into my old life. Some of you may be in this stage. In order for you to be “successful” and follow this new path the Lord has placed before you, you have to change locations (either literally or symbolically). Are there friends you need to distance yourself from in order to grow in your relationship with Jesus? Are there places you need to stop going? Are there attitudes and character traits you need to allow the Lord to handle? Please don’t allow Satan to trick you into thinking that you can stay exactly where you are when God is trying to move you so He can transform you into someone different.

The newly emerged butterflies, though transformed, were very weak. For about an hour they just hung beside their cocoon. They rarely moved, and when they did, I saw drops of blood fall from their bodies. Ladies, some of you may be in this stage. You are a new Christian (or a believer who has just returned to the Lord), and you are weak. You have just enough energy to hang onto Jesus. This may be a scary place for you, but know we have all been right where you are. The key to growing stronger is to keep moving in your relationship with Christ. I encourage you to find a more mature woman in Christ and ask her to come alongside you and disciple you. Please don’t think that you can do this life on your own. You and I need people to help us as we navigate this Christian life.

When the new butterflies fell, they got back up and kept going. I watched as one of the cocoons fell of their perch and lay on the ground. I thought it was going to die, but about an hour later, I saw a butterfly had emerged. This creature was amazing! It struggled to walk to the netting, climb up, and then stretch its wings. I was literally overcome with tears as I saw myself in this butterfly. There have been times in my life where I have fallen, but I didn’t stay there. Does this describe you? Know that God has transformed you and will help carry you. No matter how difficult it may be right now, keep going. Don’t stop until you reach the “net” (a safe place) and then allow Jesus and others to help you.

In the next few days, it will be time for us to open the flight cage and release the butterflies. They came in our home dirty and confined to the dirt. However, they will leave our home beautiful and soaring. My prayer is you will allow God to do the same in you.

 

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28 thoughts on “A New Creation – Life Lessons from Butterflies”

  1. Deborah Henry says:

    Butterflies are beautiful!

    1. Bishop James Bishop says:

      I truly enjoyed this article it blessed me more than you will ever know I have been a pastor for 35 years I was searching for something On the butterfly this is fantastic

    2. Linda Zip says:

      I have been into butterflies since I was 5and now 66.Just did a party for my 2 friends that were baptized with butterflies in and outside.I never tire of them and what they represent.I have stage 4 cancer and considering a kit. Could you please send info? Thanks so very much for your story and insight. Sincerly. LindaZ☝?

    3. Vincent johnson says:

      Vincent a fellow servant in Christ greet you ! Thank you for sharing your story about the butterflies! In the recent past I was shown by the Lord that the butterfly symbolizes the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! He showd me this in my art! If I could I’d send a copy to you! Peace and love to you in Christ!

    4. Jenny Hill says:

      Thank you soooo much for this information. It is 12:07am and I am going through a transformation as we speak. I am a grateful recovering addict working to get enough money to help me afford college. I am getting my degree to become a substance abuse counselor. I want to bring others out of their darkness into the light. This information is a blessing to me right now. Thank you so much for encouraging me even more now. I keep seeing butterflies everywhere I go. I know it’s our Heavenly Father communicating with me through His beautiful creation!!!☺☺☺

    5. Jennifer says:

      My son was a vet who recently committed suicide. He believed in God. Seeing butterflies everywhere please help

  2. Leeanne Smith says:

    Recently at church someone “saw” lots of butterflies around me and I had no idea of what it meant. Thank you for this article as I will be able to glean from this!

    1. Vincent johnson says:

      Hi! I’m Vincent(antone Johnson) a fellow servant in Christ! I want to share this in response to your butterfly interest! Lord God of diesel shown to me recently that butterflies represent the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ lamb of God! So now you know! The Lord showd me through my art of rainbow butterfly! Wish I could share it with you!

  3. Charis says:

    I needed to read this. The article has been a blessing beyond any words. The cocoon seems to be the stage I’m stuck on, but God is not through with me yet.

  4. Colette Douglas says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. It has really blessed my spirit. May God Continues to Bless you and your family spreading the word of God. ??

  5. Angela says:

    Thank you for blessing me with this beautiful story.
    This is so appropriate to where i am in my life right now. The words “dont turn your eyes from me” are repeatedly going through my head. This message reinforces that and reminds me to never take my eyes off God and to continue to reach that “net”

  6. Audrey says:

    Amanda, thank you for the beautiful story of the butterfly and transformation in Christ. I am in a very trying time in my life and I hear God calling me back and I am turning to Him completely. Through the pain I am going through, I hear Him calling my family back together and to completely surrender unto Him. I pray everyday and trust in God’s will for our lives and to carry us through the storm, unite our families, and believe in miracles and healing and love. Amen

  7. Debbie says:

    God led me to you! The last several years have been difficult for me.. I’ve been trying to fix things in my own power and not totally relying on Him. Butterflies have been following me and a beautiful monarch butterfly landed on the top of my head recently. A reminder for me to never lose hope and continually look to Our Savior- He is forever by our side! Thank You for your inspiring words!

  8. Ona says:

    Two butterflies had passed my car about two weeks apart from each other so I wanted to know what butterflies meant and this article has blessed me beyond measure. Confirm where I am in my walk with Christ and where is He is leading me to. Thank you and God bless.

  9. Nancy Christina says:

    I saw few days back in my dream butterflies flying in the sky. I was wondering what God wants me to understand from that. I thank you so much for sharing the message about butterfly. God bless you .

  10. Yvonne Ortiz says:

    Thank you this is very encouraging have a blessed day stay focused and keep sharing your love enjoy your journey

  11. Nancy Sawicki says:

    I LOVE this article!!! I went through a very unexpected divorce after 30 years of marriage and ever since then (6 years ago) I can really identify with butterflies. In fact I wrote a poem called “Butterfly” because I knew I would be changed through this experience. God has used my story and I have been leading a Divorce Support Group in my church for the past 4 years. I am now blessed to be able to walk through this journey with others because our Lord uses everything for good!! And I am re-married to a wonderful, Godly man! Thank you for sharing this article. I really want one of these butterfly kits!! Where can I get one??

  12. Lee says:

    This made me cry because it resonated so much with me.. not the part about women being lost because I was never lost, in fact I grew up in a good Christian home and my late grandfather) who took the place of my dad when my dad got schizophrenia) was a dedicated Pastor for almost 80 years. Its just that I’ve been having such a hard time lately just trying to stay alive and out of poverty with a family to feed. Im a qualified professional with a degree and many years of work experience, but have literally moved from Louisiana to Europe to to find work and because we felt that God led us to move… and this is where we found our ‘safety net’ in the form of a church and friends from the church who helped us survive in the new country… despite the intense opposition from our US based family who would not help us out financially because we left. I looked up butterflies because I’ve been dreaming about them and seeing references to them lately… and stumbled across your article which makes such perfect sense that its scary. Our miracle is coming, we have transformed SO much during the struggle and while being unemployed for over a year… but the miracle comes in a few days in fact, because my husband (who has also gone through a radical transformation from being a lukewarm Christian to a firm believer) has finally found employment (or rather it has found him)… and we will no longer be in such a compromising situation anymore and be able to pay off our debts slowly but surely. Praise God, for He is GOOD. All we had to do was trust Him. Jesus never fails.

  13. carol says:

    are group of special need kids make blankets for people who have cancer. and we pray over them .the one we did last night 3 /31 2018 is for a little girl 9 years old, and i took notice to a butterfly on it just 1.so we looked up the meaning of the butterfly omg.I knew it was good God shows me things in his creation.not only that this is Easter and for that to be given to her what meaning ,

  14. Holly says:

    I enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing and God bless you!

  15. Kristina Reilly says:

    My mom passed away mothers day 2016 and my “sign” from her is butterflies…confermation!!

    1. Linda Hankins says:

      My Mom passed away July 28, 2016 and was buried August 4. When we arrived at the small church to do the graveside part a yellow butterfly came up and was over her casket from the time it was unloaded and stayed the walk through the cemetery to the grave site. When they set the casket down the butterfly circled twice and flew off into nearby woods. My daughter did some research and what she came up with was that it was signifying that her soul was at peace.

  16. Linda Hankins says:

    I love this! I have always loved butterflies, and now more than ever. This is me, I can see myself so many times in this. Thank you, and please thank your sister in love for the gift that encouraged me among so many others. Now I think I will go to you tube and try to find the old kids’ song “He’s Still Working On Me”.

  17. Linda Hankins says:

    This speaks so much of me. I have always loved butterflies and this just makes me appreciate the beauty of God’s creation even more.

  18. Douglas says:

    What a great story and insights! I’ve been seeing monarch butterflies alot which lead me here to your story.
    One thing I would encourage all Christians Do to disconnect from this world and strengthen their connection with their spirituality and especially our heavenly father is fasting.
    Its often overlooked and even more rarely taught, but fasting is a Christians nuclear bomb against sin. God bless

  19. Hadassah says:

    Thank you for sharing this creation inspired insight. Truly blessed by this illustration. God bless you.

  20. Amber says:

    Wonderful Interpretation! Butterfly blessings to you.

  21. Tina Speight says:

    Just looking for images of butterflies and inspirational wording, I came across your butterfly story. I truly did enjoy reading it. Thank you so much. I recently retired and during my devotion and meditation moments, the story of the Hungry Caterpillar and a children’s song entitled, “One I was a Caterpillar, now I’m a Butterfly” came into my mind and spirit. I have enrolled in a Theological Learning Center in my area so that I can study God’s WORD more. He has allowed me to work long enough to support my family, I am divorced and the children are grown. It is time for my new transformation and your story is one of many things God has shown me for inspirational strength. Thank you and God Bless!