Monday, February 27, 2017

Complaining In The Cocoon

I’ll guess our cocoon experience seems longer than that of a butterfly, but, proportionately, maybe it’s not.

Though some may find caterpillars fascinating little creatures, few would say their beauty and abilities even rival that of the butterfly. I’ll admit, I don’t have a clue what goes on in that cocoon to cause the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. But, when life courses through the veins of their newfound wings, beauty and power take on brand new meaning.

I have no idea if the butterfly remembers life as the caterpillar, crawling on her belly in search of food, eating as if the buffet will soon be over.

I don’t know if the caterpillar knows that she’ll be hidden away in a cocoon, changing phenomenally, or if she has any appreciation for the freedoms of the butterfly. Or for that matter, if she’s ever even seen a butterfly. Perhaps her eyes are only on the task at hand, acquiring the fuel she’s driven to take in.

Does she know transformation awaits her?
Can she imagine how much of a change will occur?
Is it dark in there? Can she see at all?
Can she move in that cocoon? (Seems quite cramped to me.)
As she grows and develops, is she at all comfortable, or stressed beyond recognition?
Or – does she sleep?
Does she question what’s happening to her?
Does it hurt?
Does she know she has a future, or does she await death?
When the urge to break out overcomes her, is she afraid?
Never having had wings before, what does she think is crowding her into the cocoon?
What does she think has happened to her slimy (or furry) little body, the one she wore into the cocoon?
As her wings stretch out to their full measure, does it hurt? Does it feel good, like stretching our arms and our back after a long night of sleep?
Is she afraid of the foreign objects we know are her wings? Of their need to soar through the air?

Does she even think about what’s happening or just enjoy the newness?

The experience of the butterflies vary, some never make it out of the cocoon.

Though her story is one of rebirth and transformation, one that we can see with our eyes over a very brief period of time, does she realize it?

Ours is an ongoing story of change and rebirth, too.

What stage are you in right now?

I have no clue if the caterpillar, all wrapped up in it’s transformational habitat, can complain. I rather doubt it. But, sheesh! Us humans have that mastered!

Whether we’re still chewing leaves, crawling along on a branch, ignorant of the plant it’s growing from, or we’re closed off from the openness we previously enjoyed, seemingly trapped in a closet of darkness – change is coming; freedom and beauty and abilities await us in experiences we haven’t yet imagined.

Just as the caterpillar may have no idea what a butterfly is, or can do, we look around us and see other caterpillars or the dark looking cocoons they’ve crawled into, and may not be able to imagine what we can be.

I don’t think a caterpillar can perceive that a glorious butterfly is already in the making.

What is inside of you?

While we complain about the leaf we’re chewing on, or the darkness of our cocoon, a breathtaking butterfly is in the making!

We’ll have such freedom – to fly further than the caterpillar knows there are places to fly.

Go to a butterfly house and observe; ponder what’s happening there. 

When you rest from the busyness of your day to talk with your Maker, wait on Him; listen.

Don’t let your insatiable hunger scare you. God is there.

Don’t let apparent darkness overwhelm you. God is there.

When you feel the urge to stretch and spread out your newness – use bold force! God is right there, too! He’s waiting on you. Crawl out onto His finger and begin to explore and enjoy your freedoms and all you discover you’re capable of.

Trust Him with the preparations of today.
Trust Him with the darkness that closes in around you.

Trust Him with tomorrow, He’s already there.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Virginal Innocence, Got It?

(photo from
Wise Virgins; 
Our Innocence

The very thought of ourselves being innocent might make us laugh, at least to ourselves. How long has it been since I was innocent? That’s exactly what happened to me when a dear friend referred to me using the term innocent.

Your innocence may have been taken from you at a very young age, or because of a promiscuous youth you may have given away your innocence. But, how does that reflect on you now?
Not long ago I confronted these thoughts without warning. When my friend called me innocent, in my mind I instantly roared with laughter, mocking myself with split second thoughts like, “You don’t know me very well, do you? Ha! Me? Innocent? Not in a very long time! You should know the things I’ve done!” But in the very same moment I mocked myself, I heard God speak to me quietly saying, “Are you not my child? Are you not washed with the Blood of the Lamb?” As I drew in a breath of shock, I lowered my head and whispered back, “Yes.” He finished, “Then you are innocent. Now.” I had to push back tears of joy as an overwhelming shock of reality set in. After my friend and I finished talking, I walked away to ponder what God Himself had just spoken to me.
Can you relate to what a reality check that was? I don’t know that I had ever thought of myself as innocent. Children don’t walk around acknowledging that they are innocent. And by the time mine was lost, my mature adult brain saw it as lost for good. Boy, was I wrong! I am innocent now! Not because I’m a particularly good person, but because my sins have been washed away by the Blood of the Lamb. It’s a simple truth we all know - but I wasn’t walking in my innocence. I was continuing to walk as one who had been handed a guilty decree, just like the enemy of our soul wanted me to.

(photo from Blog -
The lies of the enemy are subtle, and he’s rehearsed them a thousand times before he whispers them in our ears. And, we listen. And, we believe him. Without even checking out what God has to say about it, we believe the lies of the enemy, and we suffer because of it. We go without, because we aren’t walking in the Truth.

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

After we have been washed clean, reborn, made innocent by the Blood of the Lamb, we need to tell somebody, often; that would be the word of our testimony.

Determine some of the differences between the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins Matthew talks about in chapter 25. Into which group do we fall?

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. –Matthew 25:1-13

(picture from
It appears that the only thing that made the foolish virgins foolish, was that they didn’t take any extra oil with them. The wise virgins had oil enough to burn their lamps, even after waiting on the bridegroom for so long a time that the lamps of the foolish virgins had gone out. Both virgins knew about the coming of the bridegroom, both were waiting for his call; it even appears that they were waiting together.
Relating this parable to our lives, the oil for the lamps has been said to represent the Holy Spirit; oil in other places in the Bible represents the Holy Spirit. But, the oil has also been said to represent the personal relationship between the bride and her bridegroom, or her faith, or even her works. The bottom line it represents is readiness; readiness for the return of the bridegroom. Are we ready for Christ’s return?

There are many who consider themselves Christians who won’t be taken in the rapture; they have not been washed in the Blood of the Lamb. They are not watching, as we are told to do. Christ will say to them, “Depart from me, I knew you not.” (Matthew 25:13 above)  

Could the oil represent their innocence? Whether or not they had indeed been washed in the Blood of the Lamb? The foolish virgins weren’t realistic about how long their oil would last and they were not ready when it was time to go. Were the foolish virgins living in the reality of salvation through Jesus Christ? Or were they just living under the title ‘Christian’ which many do, even though they have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Are we living in the reality of our salvation through Jesus Christ? If we call ourselves Christians, we are either one of the wise virgins, or one of the foolish. We are either washed in the Blood of the Lamb, or not. We are innocent, or we are not. How do we know?

(picture from
Ask yourself if you are among the innocent. Are you innocent, but didn’t dare to call yourself innocent? Can you say it aloud? Is that being arrogant or proud? Or is it simply the word of your testimony?

Can you look around at your Christian friends and see their innocence?

To be wise, to be ready, ask Jesus into your heart, making Him your Lord and Savior, tell someone, and watch for His soon return. Jesus doesn’t expect you to clean yourself up and then come to Him, He takes you just as you are right now.