I homeschool my two little boys, and for our last “fun” science project of the school year, we got one of those caterpillar-to-butterfly kits.
Over the course of about two weeks, we watched with delight and disgust as six caterpillars munched their way through a cupful of brown “food” and nearly tripled (quadrupled?) in size.
We watched them form chrysalises and eagerly waited for them to emerge in their beautiful new form.
On the very last school day of 2022, my 6-year-old was the first to notice Butterfly No. 1. There it was! Clinging to one of the cage supports. We oohed and ahhed over it and gave it sugar water and a piece of fruit.
The next morning, a Saturday, I woke up early—far too early than I wanted. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I took my scriptures to the kitchen table where our caterpillar cage was. I opened my Bible and started reading.
Just me and Butterfly No. 1 and the chrysalises.
I found myself in Matthew 17 reading—of all things—the odd little story of the tribute money. You remember, the one where Peter catches a fish and finds a shekel in the fish’s mouth, enough to pay the temple tax. This is a story that I never really understood and one that I’d usually gloss over. But, that morning I wrestled with it. What do you mean, story? Why are you in the Bible?
God opened my mind to it there at the kitchen table. He took me by the hand and led me through the story step by step, showing me how it connects to the Transfiguration, to John 15, Philippians 2, and Romans 8. (I’ll save those insights for another blog article.)
Just as I was finishing up, I heard a faint rustling inside the cage. Another butterfly!
At that very moment, I was thrilled to see Butterfly No. 2 struggling free of its chrysalis. I saw its delicate legs stretch outward. I saw its wings unfold.
As I watched with delight, so happy that I got to witness it actually happening right in front of me, I was struck by the analogy. (Really, how could I miss it?)
Reading scripture leads to transformation.
Connecting with God leads to transformation.
Spiritual growth happens in many ways. Sometimes it strikes in bold, wonderful flashes. And sometimes it unfurls in the early morning quiet, by way of one of the most unassuming stories in the Bible, for a mom who didn’t get enough sleep.
I felt God encouraging me. Whispering to me that, as I seek Him, He’ll keep changing me, growing me, making me new.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.