God Knows What is B.E.S.T. - Part 2: Is Something Beautiful About to Emerge?
Updated: Apr 26, 2020
At the beginning of the year, many of us had hopes that 2020 was going to be our year to spread our wings and soar, but instead, less than half-way through the year, millions find themselves having lost their jobs and more. Some people may feel deflated, depressed, distraught, or distressed. Society may have tried to relegate some to a number, but in the midst of this crisis, there is good news. There is someone who has declared that you are essential, you are loved, you are chosen, and you are valuable. You are not just a number in God’s eyes. He knows us all by name and still has plans for us to soar. We may not understand what is going on right now, but I encourage you to remember that God knows what is B.E.S.T. Despite how the year started, I am confident that 2020 is still going to be a great year. Just like the butterfly emerges from the dark cocoon, we too will emerge from these dark days.
What does it mean to emerge? According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the word emerge means “to become known”, “to rise from” or “to come into being.” If we look at our lives like the life of a butterfly, we can see that there is significance at every stage. During the egg stage, we might feel small and insignificant, but we should never underestimate the potential of a small egg because, through God, big and miraculous wonders can emerge. The beauty and potential is already there; it is just waiting to “become known” and “come into being.”
Over these past few weeks, many of us have found ourselves in the caterpillar stage, where we are spending a significant amount of time eating. We have been filling our stomachs with food and drinks, but we need to pause and make sure we are not just eating physical food but that we are also eating spiritual food. Physical food may bring temporary satisfaction, but only God’s word can bring permanent joy, fulfillment and satisfaction.
Unfortunately, some of us mistakenly thought we could survive this COVID crisis as long as we had enough food in our pantry. Many of us rushed to the stores to stock our pantries full of food, but we mistakenly sought peace and security in the wrong place. Instead of looking for food in the store, we should be looking for nourishment in God’s word. Spiritual food is better for our long-term health because most food and drinks have an expiration date, but God’s word is the same yesterday, today and forever and His goodness and mercy never expire. God provides the type of sustenance that will not only sustain us during this pandemic but will sustain us during every day of our lives. Deuteronomy 8:2-3 tells us that we cannot live on bread alone.
"And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live."
Before this pandemic hit, many of us thought we were in control of our livelihood, but God decided to remind us that He is in control. He had to humble us and teach us to stop being so concerned about what is in our pantries and more concerned about what is in our hearts. After this pandemic is over, hopefully we will remember that our livelihood is dependent on our consumption of God’s word and not on food alone.
What else do we know about the caterpillar? The caterpillar’s body lays flat on the ground which is a prostrate position. What is the significance of this? In Genesis 17 we see that Abram laid prostate before God. In verses 3 and 4, it says,
"And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations."
Is God trying to make a covenant or promise with you? Is He trying to get your attention and talk to you? Well, I think we can all agree that He has gotten the world’s attention right now, but it is up to each of us, whether we decide to pause and allow Him to speak. When Abram got up from laying before God, he was a changed person. In verse 7, God says,
“Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.”
When Abraham fell on his face, he talked to God and when he got up, he had a new name. When you get up from laying before God
Will you have a new name?
Will you have new skills, character traits, abilities, or attitude?
Will He be able to call you faithful instead of fearful?
Will He be able to call you a peacemaker instead of a troublemaker?
Will He be able to call you a worshipper instead of a worrier?
Will He be able to call you a unifier instead of a disruptor?
Will God be able to call you a creator instead of a procrastinator?
Will you allow God to multiple your gifts so that you can not only use them to elevate your name but to also elevate His name?
Pupa Stage (chrysalis)
During the pupa stage, the caterpillar is confined inside of a cocoon. Many of us may feel like we are in a cocoon now because we are under a Stay at Home order, where we have limited movement. While this time might feel like a time of isolation, we can choose to look at this as a time of preparation. Unfortunately, some of us might be tempted to view this time as an interruption to our lives and our plans, but if we mediate on His word, we will understand that God needed to confine us so He could remind us to trust His guidance. Proverbs 3:5-6 says
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
If we follow the instructions in God’s word, we will trust God to direct our paths. Hence, instead of being anxious and upset about this interruption, we can take comfort in knowing that if God halts or alters our plans, it is ultimately for our good because, as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, His plans are far better than ours.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Inside the chrysalis, the caterpillar sheds his old body, and a new body is formed. I have read that there is fluid inside the chrysalis that helps transform the caterpillar into the butterfly. This process sounds like the process Christians go through when we accept Jesus Christ as our savior. When we are baptized and submerged into the water, this symbolizes our old body dying and when we are lifted up and emerge from the water, this represents our new life in Christ. II Corinthians 5:17 says
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Behold, during this time of confinement and isolation, let’s remind ourselves of the blood of Jesus that washes our sins away and let’s shed our old body, old habits, old thoughts and old plans inside the chrysalis and ask God to create a new body, new thoughts and new plans.
The Adult Stage: The Butterfly Emerges
I thank God that we do not have to worry about if the butterfly will emerge, but only when it will emerge, and my prayer for all of us is that when this Coronavirus crisis is over, we emerge into the beautiful butterfly God created us to be.
I pray that we will have left that old body, old habits, old thoughts and old plans inside the chrysalis.
I pray that when we emerge from our homes and go back to work and school, we will look like we have been in the presence of the Lord.
How can we be ready to emerge when God says it is time?
We need to trust God and the process and remember that even when we feel like that small and insignificant egg, there is beauty and potential just waiting to emerge.
We need to allow ourselves to experience the caterpillar stage, humble ourselves and lay prostrate before God so He can talk to us.
We need to allow ourselves to experience the chrysalis stage and reflect on our lives while God keeps us protected from the distractions of the world.
We need to wait patiently in the chrysalis stage and resist the urge to rush the process and God’s timing.