It was that time of the year again. Labor Day weekend. The time where we start gathering our camping equipment and making our way to Autryville, North Carolina to Auntie and Uncles abode. Uncle would clear about an acre of land for us in the back. Each year we looked forward to our camping adventure. Throughout the month’s prior, the anticipation amongst those who might attend continued to swell. The event has drawn family and friends from the north, south, east and west. I kid you not.
My husband liked to arrive early so he can claim his territory. A great time is guaranteed. The weekend is filled with games, stories, laughter, bonfires and good food. Fun times are had by all. We leave exhausted but ready to do it again the very next year. For me, it is a once a year escapade with nature. It’s about all I can stand.
Now this one particular year, I remember standing around shooting the breeze with two of the ‘funnest’ ladies I know. No, I don’t know if that is really a word but it best describes these two. When the three of us get together we talk and laugh and they are two that I can just be real with. No watching my words. No tip toeing around subjects. They know me and they know my heart. I consider them both close friends. My two girls fictitious names are Soldier Girl and the other TeaTimer.
I don’t remember the specifics the three of us were discussing on this day as we stood around. Most likely we were talking about our significant others. Oh, I forgot to tell you the three of them are brothers. And when they get together, for the weekend adventure, it’s like a campground full of elevated testosterone. It’s non-stop entertainment all weekend.
So, in the midst of us jaw jabbing, out of nowhere Soldier Girl starts jumping around like she is doing a new form of jumping jacks. Her arms are swinging in the air and she is jumping up and down screaming. Me and TeaTimer thought something attacked her. I looked around thinking maybe she saw a snake or some big bug landed on her since her hands were waving all over the place and her jumps high like a frog. As I’m looking up and down and all around and fear is rising up in me, too, I begin to ask Soldier Girl, “What? What? What?" And I kid you not she screams, “A butterfly!”
I am thinking did she say butterfly? She is literally just about in tears and fear has gripped her. I could not help myself but I busted out laughing and just couldn’t stop. I had one of those gut-wrenching, tear dropping, uncontrollable belly laughs. A butterfly? I thought. You lost your mind over a butterfly? Lo and behold, she is petrified of butterflies. Who would’ve thought. To me and TeaTimer it was one of the funniest things. We still joke about it to this day.
Imagine that! Afraid of butterflies. When I asked my friend why she is so scared she said it’s all the colors. My friend is not at peace with all of the colors.
Ever see a bunch of caterpillars in the cocoon. They are called tent caterpillars. Now, they give me the creeps. I hate even walking near a tree that has them. I always think the cocoon is going to burst and all those caterpillars will be all over me. Now, that would cause me to look as if I lost my mind. But a butterfly?
So, let’s take a deeper look at butterflies.
Now, we all know that butterflies don’t start out all that colorful. I won’t bore you with the intricacies but the short and sweet is they start off as an egg which hatches to a caterpillar then grows a covering and then sheds it to become a butterfly. It’s a process.
What I found fascinating is that in order for a butterfly to fly it has to pump blood into its wings. The blood gets the wings working and flapping. The butterfly hangs upside-down and pumps blood into the wings to inflate them. It must wait for the wings to dry before it can fly and then it takes practice. No, they don’t fly gracefully right away. And the blood is critical to setting them free.
So many things can prevent the maturity of a butterfly. So many factors which can stop the butterfly from reaching its full potential. The eggs can get eaten or the egg never hatch or the blood doesn’t pump. Just to name a few.
Interesting, huh? And it made me think of my Christian walk. Contrary to some folks belief we are not born “again” perfect.
We, like a butterfly, go through a process to reach our full potential. We feed (on the Word of God) and the more we feed the more we grow as we walk out our journey and continue to move forward soaring to new heights.
We aren’t graceful in the beginning. Well, okay. I will speak for myself here. I definitely wasn’t and still occasionally bump my head here and there. Some days more often than not.
The best part of Christianity, for me, is we are free because of the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ shed for you and for me. The blood is so critical to setting us free. Without the blood, like the butterfly, we would never be free. We would never be able to soar to the heights that God has called us to. We would never be able to fly (hypothetically) to reach our God given potential.
My friend may not have peace with the colors of a butterfly but thank God she has peace through Jesus. HIS blood shed on the cross.
The blood. Such an integral part of the journey to becoming a butterfly. The blood. Such an integral part of the journey to be free in Christ.
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NIV
Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. John 8:32