It’s a Hard Process from Crawling to Soaring

            Can you imagine walking into a room with over a thousand fluttering butterflies?

            I did just that at the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens in Georgia and it was quite a colorful experience. Not to mention hot and humid, out of necessity. In this glass-enclosed ecosystem more than fifty species of butterfly live freely among tropical plants. Butterflies arrive there in the chrysalis stage, purchased from family-run butterfly farms in economically-challenged tropical countries.

            These beautiful creatures start out as caterpillars, crawling along the ground, eating grass and enjoying themselves. That is, until they go into a dark and tight place that feels like death – the cocoon.

            What butterflies think is the end of the world, is actually the beginning of a whole new life.

            After a period of time in the chrysalis, the caterpillar breaks through the covering, first a little hole, then a bigger one, until it finally emerges. During this struggle a secretion is released that gives it the ability to stretch its new wings and fly. Unfortunately, if there were no struggle to emerge, there would also be no soaring. Now it has metamorphosed into a totally different creature. It is not merely a prettier caterpillar that crawls faster. It is a wholly new creation – a butterfly with gorgeous markings and those incredible wings that enable it to fly!

            God calls us to transform, not to just a better version of our old self, but to a totally new creation. Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. Romans 12.2

            This miraculous process is called metamorphosis, which is derived from the Greek word metamorphoo, meaning “to change into another form” or “transform.” Our verse today reminds us that this is exactly what God is doing with us, changing us from the inside out.

            But the process may be slow and even painful at times. It may even seem like death.

Eventually our transformed heart changes us.  “Without even knowing it, we are practicing the presence of God. Formal times of prayer merely join into and enhance the steady undercurrent of quiet worship that underlies our days. Without even realizing it our heart is taking on a new character. Gone are the old impulses for manipulation, anger and revenge. Before we are aware of it, in slip new responses of love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control.”

– Richard Foster

            How would you like God to change you today?

            I desire what Thomas Kelly calls a life of unhurried peace and power. “It is simple. It is serene. It is amazing. It is triumphant. It is radiant. We need not get frantic. He is at the helm. And when our little day is done we lie down quietly in peace, for all is well.” 

            Tired of crawling? Time to soar!

Benediction: My child, conform or transform? Those are the two choices. And what I desire in you is that you become a totally new creature! Still, this changing is a process which happens in tight and dark places. And you may feel forgotten or useless during that season. Just know that in the end you will become more beautiful and free than you have ever been before. And it starts with your mind.

Lucinda Secrest McDowell in “Dwelling Places”

            May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit  bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2021 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at

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  1. Teresa+A+Moyer on August 6, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    So Good! We want God to change us but without the struggle. We always want everything easy LOL. Thanks for this message on the importance in the struggle to emerge a new changed creation 🙂

  2. Barbara Latta on August 12, 2021 at 5:49 am

    Lucinda, I love the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens. We live nearby and visit it quite often. These beautiful creations of God remind us so much of the transformation process He works in us through the new birth. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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