Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | November 30, 2021

The Cocoon Life

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t pause in awe when seeing a butterfly. The variations of color and wing size make each creature uniquely marvelous. But what’s even more amazing, is the metamorphic process by which the butterfly emerges as itself.

A caterpillar wraps itself in a silk cocoon (chrysalis), during which time its old body is being broken down, dying to itself. An entirely new body is formed—a process called holometabolism. That’s not where it ends though! The butterfly has to break out of the protective shell it created, escaping the walls that would eventually kill it. But it is this part of the transformation that strengthens its wings, so when freed, it can boldly take flight.

Friend, this is our story in Christ! At the moment of surrender to Jesus—salvation—we are made new creatures! By grace through faith, our spiritual self goes from worm to butterfly. The problem, however, is that we are still in our old body. Our physical holometabolism has yet to happen. We are spiritually redeemed, but until we see Jesus face to face, we are cocooned in this earthly, sinful body living in a fallen, broken world. This, as the Apostle Paul writes often, creates a constant battle between new and old man—between flesh and spirit.

But just like the butterfly strengthens its new body as it works to be completely free of its cocoon, we can—must—strengthen our spiritual self as we walk through this world. We must “work out our salvation” (Philippians 2:12) by daily taking off the former “wormy” exterior and putting on the beautiful colors of Christlikeness. Although it won’t be complete on this earth, this external transformation can be quite remarkable and awe-inspiring.

So, how does this external process of becoming more like Christ happen for believers? We must be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), setting our minds on the things above (Colossians 3:2). What is the source for this? God’s Word! We become like Jesus by knowing Him and His character. And we get to know Him through His Word—the Bible.

I imagine that once the caterpillar has been changed into a butterfly, with brilliantly colored wings designed to soar, its sole preoccupation is to tear down its constraining cocoon. Likewise, we have to be preoccupied with Christ: fixing our eyes on him; tearing down and starving out that which is sinful (Colossians 3:5-8); and building up that which is True and Beautiful (Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 4:8).

Friend, becoming a Christian does transform us spiritually from worm to butterfly. But we will live a cocooned life until our body is glorified. Until that time, as we daily remove the layers of what keeps us trapped, we can reveal our colors to a dark world, demonstrating what we were truly all meant to be.

“Lord, I am a new creation in You. Help me walk out that spiritual reality as I make my way Home through this world.”

For His Glory


Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

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