Metamorphosis

As I walked my dog this week I could not miss the bright yellow caterpillar in my path. Knowing about metamorphosis, I wondered what it would become. I learned it turns into a moth that has intricate shades of gray, called an American Dagger moth.

Perhaps the moth is not as impressive to look at as a colorful butterfly, nevertheless, the process of metamorphosis is amazing! One living thing changes into a very different kind of living thing, in this case from a crawly creature to a flying one. The way it lives and moves is dramatically different that it was before it changed.

An American Dagger moth caterpillar along my path.

A synonym for metamorphosis is transformation.

I have thought about spiritual transformation lately and I see how closely it resembles the metamorphosis of a crawling caterpillar to a flying moth or butterfly. In 2 Corinthians 3:18 Paul explains. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image [of Christ] from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” As we learn the word of God, gazing on the nature of Jesus, the ways of God’s Spirit and spend time with mature followers of Jesus, we go ‘from one degree of glory to another,’ and morph into who our Creator intends us to become.

In Galatians 2:20 Paul tells us,I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” He learned to turn himself over to the will of God.

An adult American Dagger moth, [The moth image was originally posted to Flickr by Wildreturn]

Our metamorphosis is both a moment in time and a process. When we accept the Love of God through the loving sacrifice of Jesus, we are crucified with Christ and are instantly morphed, or sometimes the word translated is used, into the Kingdom of God. The first unique life is still present, but now in a new and different presentation. We do not know or understand all it means at first. That process of discovery we go through is how we mature.
I am not the same person I was at 16 when I began to walk with Jesus. Like any baby I crawled then fell down a lot those first few years. Eventually I learned to “fly like the moth,” as I matured in the Kingdom of God. The experience and process of walking by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit is the transformation, or metamorphosis process.

 

Come Help Change the World!

I think I’ve always wanted to change the world for the better. Initially I had limits on how that might look. When I was a kid I swore I would never be a teacher. Teachers have to deal with unruly kids and long hours for relatively little pay. I saw what I put my teachers through and decided there was no way I wanted to take that from other people’s kids!

When I became a follower of Jesus, I said I would never be a missionary in Africa. I was a sorority girl from a good family. And though I was a Tomboy, enjoying sports and camping….I was convinced that being a missionary in Africa was NOT God’s will for my life. I was convinced I would have more impact by making a stand in my own area of influence and culture….

37 years ago the tag line for Campus Crusade for Christ [now CRU] was “Come Help Change the World!” What 22-year-old just out of university does not want to make a difference in the world? We all hunger and thirst for significance. We all want to feel like we have contributed to making life better for us and for others.

I signed up!

Me, circa 1982

Even before I signed up with CRU I knew I was going to Africa. God met me at the CRU Christmas conference in Chicago the December of 1979. I literally heard bells ringing, that no one else heard, when an announcement was made for a recruiting meeting. I attended the meeting and God deeply impressed on my spirit that I was to apply to go to Africa. This was really odd because I was taught that emotions and experiences were the caboose on the train of faith. They were not essential. I have since learned that the caboose is, however, a part of the train=}

Within months I was in cross cultural training to go teach school in Nigeria, West Africa. Next I moved to Côte d’Ivoire, putting all my years of classroom French to practical use, or at least beginning to. Then I spent years in Senegal and Mali with a month in the Philippines in 1991. It was there in the Philippines I began to connect deeply with my passion for prayer.

My life has moved a long way from there. There have been twists and turns I did not anticipate. God has remained the same and He is making me into His image, sometimes in spite of myself.

I still find ways to “Come help Change the World!” I mostly work from my base in Massachusetts at this phase of life. But that’s the awesome thing about prayer. We can literally affect lives and events anywhere through prayer.

Technology also allows us to have an impact beyond our four walls. I receive prayer requests from all over the world. I use Skype and Face time to have audio and even face to face conversations and prayer with people in Europe, East Asia, Africa.

And of course there are our neighbors, co-workers and shop keepers and others we see regularly. Do my interactions go beyond paying for my purchases and trivial greetings?

Last weekend at Restore & Revive I was delighted to listen to every plenary speaker and several workshops emphasize the need for the power of the Holy Spirit for Evangelism. The event did take place at D.L. Moody’s home town and campus. He is one who clearly depended on the love and power of the Holy Spirit to win people to Jesus.

In a week or so the different sessions will be linked to the Restore & Revive site. Also God.tv will also be showing at least some of it in the near future. I hope you are able to watch and listen, and I pray you are restored and revived to come help change the world!