Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hatching Butterflies

Have you ever had the privilege of watching a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis? That crusty shell is split open and out pops a fragile butterfly that must rest, pumping its wings before it takes flight. What must it have felt like moments before squished in that shell then all of the sudden expanded in all of its glory and with space abounding?

I have found that my thoughts can be negative and critical as if I'm looking for a reason to find fault so I can feel better about myself or pat myself on the back or come up with a grander solution or carry a burden that isn't mine to carry---let's be honest, its all pride really! These are traps that hold me hostage like the chysalis. In order to transform, I must bust through this barrier, this stronghold, that is so familiar, so I can emerge radiant and free. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, God's Word says to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ in order to demolish strongholds. This requires diligence and a filter of what thoughts I am allowing to come in. The enemy of our souls loves to bait us with fleeting thoughts, accusations, lies and anxiousness. If we take it, we quickly go down those slippery slopes of doubt, bitterness, jealousy, self hatred, etc. All of these are too familiar paths that are part of our old nature. However, Jesus came to give us light, to set us free and to replace lies with truth so we might live as a child of God with peace, joy, hope and love...things that are of His Kingdom.

Next time you see a butterfly, think of its process to freedom...dying to self (the caterpillar), transformation and busting through barriers, rest, drinking deeply of nectar and flight to new and further places. "It is for freedom that Christ has set you free" Gal. 5:1. May freedom be yours as you take time to rest, to take thoughts captive, to transform, and to drink in TRUTH, His nectar, so that His thoughts become your thoughts and who you are becoming!!

Fear of the Lord

One morning I woke up extra early to spend some time with God. I asked Him to lead the time and "he took me out of a slimy pit and set my feet on a rock" came to mind. In the concordance I found that verse was in Psalm 40 and proceded to read the passage. What really struck me was verse 3: "Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." What an odd combination of verbs---see, fear, trust. I think I'm too familiar with "being afraid" to really get what God is communicating here when I read the word "fear". The dictionary was no help, one definition is "reverential awe". That still didn't capture my heart, so I asked God to give me a picture that would aid in my understanding. As I waited, rolling hills with sun rays beaming up behind them like a sunrise started to emerge. There was a small valley with a path winding from it to the forefront. Along the path was a quaint home. It was a sweet image, filled with beauty, quietness, inspiration and an invitation to leave the quaint home to follow the path to destinations unknown, but inspired by and lighted by the fresh dawning light. That's it---that's the fear of the Lord. He shines in the darkness, lights our path, enlarges our vision and invites us on adventures to leave our comfort zones, surrounded by the security of His presence and drawing ever closer to the source of light as we journey the path of life. I found my heart praising God...indeed that picture is seeing and "fearing" and by it trusting God because He is bigger, better and brighter than anything else that could capture my gaze!