Friday, August 21, 2009

Rescued ...

Unexpectedly, we found the chrysalis that was attached to a thin branch of milkweed (usually they attach to the grate at the top of the container) laying on the bottom of our butterfly habitat. Clinging to the remnant of the branch that stuck out of the cup was a big, fat Monarch caterpillar. It had eaten the branch, resulting in the downward demise of this chrysalis that was in the process of changing and preparing to emerge as a butterfly.

Every summer for the past 10 years, the children and I search for Monarch caterpillars and raise them until they are butterflies, tending to their insatiable need for milkweed by providing a fresh supply every day. It is a beautiful process from baby caterpillar (sometimes even from egg) to mature butterfly. Once the butterfly emerges, we set it free and enjoy its beauty.

But what was to become of this budding butterfly? It's tender chrysalis lay helpless and detached on the floor of the habitat. My oldest daughter and I decided we would swoop in for the rescue. She gently removed the chrysalis, holding on to the thin branch, and I tied on a piece of sewing thread, securing it to the top of the cage. There it has hung, waiting to have life. Today we can see the orange and black wings beginning to appear inside. It looks as if the rescue attempt has been successful.

Sometimes when we are in the process of changing and emerging on our journey with the Lord, something happens that throws us off. Either from fears within or difficult circumstances from without, we find ourselves falling to the ground. We can believe lies that we learned along the bumpy road of life or we are affected by outside situations that hurt our hearts. These are "enemies" that besiege us and challenge us as we seek the Lord and desire to be more like Him.

Like the Psalmist we may cry out "Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you" (Psalm 143:9). For whatever reasons, and I am sure, dear reader there are many, we may feel that we are in need of rescuing. We know that we cannot do it on our own, at all. We cannot even pick ourselves up and go on, just like this little chrysalis. To me, God's rescuing power is mysterious. Sometimes I doubt it, and certainly sometimes, I do not even see it. I think that God is far off and rather, He is near. I think that He has chosen not to answer me or ignore my cries, but then I learn later that He has indeed rescued me from something that I would have never imagined.

The big old caterpillar came and ate the branch in which the chrysalis clung, and the chrysalis lost its place and security. Sometimes that happens to us as well. We are in the midst of being transformed and growing, and we are cut off by something unexpected. Call out to the Lord and seek His way. He is faithful to reach down, grab hold of you and secure you to a place where you will continue to grow, being transformed in to the beautiful being that He intends for you to be.

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