In January 1989 (30 years ago), I made my first trip to central Mexico. There, while directing a film in a spectacular range of volcanic mountains, I fell hopelessly in love with butterflies. These extraordinary insects have (choose an adjective−they all apply) captivated, fascinated, mesmerized, astonished, surprised and inspired me ever since.
Over the years, Jerry Harned and I have had the privilege of producing at least six different documentaries that have explored a butterfly’s remarkable life cycle. Along the way, we’ve worked with some outstanding scientists and researchers in an effort to document the mysteries that surround their existence.
Every butterfly goes through a dramatic process of physical change unsurpassed in nature. It’s called metamorphosis. After hatching from an egg the size of a pinhead, a microscopic caterpillar eats vociferously, grows rapidly and then encases its body within a thin shell called a chrysalis. Inside, the molecular composition of the caterpillar’s body is broken down into a chemical mush. Then this lifeless soup is completely reassembled into a magnificent flying insect.
This is all incredible biology and something more. You see, the transformation from caterpillar into butterfly is also a stunning metaphor for the spiritual change God works in the life of anyone who chooses to follow Him. Paul described this miracle in his second letter to the church in Corinth and God illustrated it beautifully through His creation.
Just think about that. Our bodies—our “earthly tents” will indeed wear down and crumble…just like the caterpillar’s. Physical death is inevitable. But look at God’s promise: We will receive in heaven a house not made by human hands. A dwelling that is eternal. There our new bodies won’t experience the aches and pains of arthritis, or the crushing memory loss of dementia or the sting of death.
Why? Because if we embrace Jesus as our Savior, He will transform us into new creations cleansed from sin and freed from the power of discouragement, fear and death. He will make us into something beautiful: people who will live in His wondrous presence forever.
When I look at a butterfly, that reality fills my heart. The same God who transforms a small, slow, almost sightless worm into a glorious creature capable of flying hundreds or thousands of miles in its lifetime, offers each of us an eternity with Him in heaven. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.
Looking forward to all that God has in store for 2019.