“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4
The seasons, as they come and go, speak to us of the mystery of transformation. As we move from fall to winter, and then Spring once again, we see that life is perpetually unfolding. In other parts of nature we see this transformation as well.
Think about the little frog and where it had its beginnings. It begins as a little egg. In the fullness of time, that little egg will burst forth and a tadpole will appear.
Have you ever gone to a pond and watched the little tadpoles. It was always such a mystery to me that after a while, the tadpole that looked like a little fish would no longer be that. It would start to grow legs, and in the fullness of time it would walk upon the earth. As a child, I was mesmerized watching them in a pond near our house.
The same mystery of transformation unfolds in the butterfly which we often discuss in our prayer groups. A little butterfly begins as an egg. Then, out of the egg comes a little wiggly thing that is furry and has lots of legs – we call it a caterpillar. Then, when it feels an inner push, it will make a chrysalis around itself. Out of that chrysalis will emerge a winged creature of great beauty.
What about our transformation? We might call ourselves “just a human being.” Then the day comes when we see more of who we are. We say, “I’m not just a human being. I’m a child of God.” We begin to see the child of God unfolding as we grow closer to Him. A spiritual transformation has begun.
Then the day comes when we think of ourselves as not a weak human but we think of ourselves as a child of God as Jesus said we were. I know, in my inner self, that the destiny of the little tadpole is to become a frog, and the destiny of the caterpillar is to become a butterfly. And our destiny is to become a child of God living or passing through this world as a human being.
What do I mean by a child of God human being? I have but to look at the life of Jesus Christ to know at least a bit more about what this new “person or child” in Christ looks like.
Jesus came to us to acknowledge, discover, experience and be the fullness of who He was and is. I think He must have, gone through all sorts of seasons of His life; times when He felt VERY human, times when He felt VERY Divine. Then he came to that place in His life where He was aware that He was the child of God, FULLY incorporating the human and the Divine. (must incorporate that in our minds). Then he taught us that we should follow him and do the same.
Ephesians 3:16 , “I pray that from Hs glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”
Our hardest task will be to dissolve the critical, crippling, self-negativity that is trapping us; where we thought we were only a weak human. We will need to do what seems impossible – to walk paradoxically in two worlds at once, inhabiting an earthly body with a new spiritual intent. What we on this planet now seems to be impossible because we ARE walking a paradox between two worlds – inhabiting an earthly body with a spiritual intent.
1 John 4:4, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
As we walk through the seasons of our lives, we will come to powerful junctures that will call us to leave behind old ways of thinking, speaking, being, and living. For God draws us, woos us, pushes us, and pulls us forward. Now, more than ever, I think we are being pulled forward to the stage where we combine our human and The Divine, and we honor both. We are both, somehow, at the same time.
This critical time may offer a baffling crisis of the spirit. It may be the time in our lives when things happen and we don’t understand why. We may not understand why those pieces are configuring the way they are. We may have been doing everything we thought correctly, and then our world begins to crumble. We experience an illness, or someone we love goes away, or something else happens.
It may very well be that a number of people reading this are in a baffling a crisis of the Spirit, trying to understand. It is in these times that we oftentimes ask many questions. We ask: “Is this all there is to life? Isn’t there more? I want more, but I don’t know how to get it. I’m afraid to take the steps forward.” We ask the deep questions of God.
I think this process of going through the seasons of our lives occurs over and over again. It’s not that we have one baffling crisis of the spirit or that we have one time of major transformation. We have many. We go through that process again and again. So we may be at the point right now where we’re beginning another cycle, and we’re baffled. We ask questions.
A book titled “When the Heart Waits” talks about a time when the author, Sue Monk Kidd, faced such a time in her life, and some of the questions she asked. Maybe they are our questions also.
“Is it possible, I asked myself, that I am being summoned from some deep and holy place within? Am I being asked to enter a new passage in a spiritual life—the journey from false self to true self? Am I being asked to dismantle old masks and patterns and unfold a deeper, more authentic self–the one God created me to be? Am I being compelled to disturb my inner universe in quest of the undiscovered being who clamors from within?”
What are your questions? Think about your questions. Even if you may not be in a mighty crisis of spirit, you may still have questions about your life—what’s happening and where you’re going. We need to ask the questions. Even if the answers may not come instantly, it is the questioning that is important for spiritual growth.
We ask our questions and we search. We find that the bottom line will be that we must commit to becoming a new person.
Thomas Moore said, “That was the major commitment of humanity – to become a whole, new person.”
This happens over and over. Who would have thought that at my age I would develop MS? (probably had it for years and never knew it). But, although some days are rough, I am dealing successfully with it and thanking God every day for the opportunity to walk this path, this season in my life..
Do you know what happens when the caterpillar goes into the chrysalis and forms a cocoon around itself? When the caterpillar goes into the chrysalis it becomes, over time, a yellow-gold liquid. It becomes liquefied. It is not a caterpillar as it was in olden times, and it is not yet a butterfly. It is liquid (I did not know this until I studied it more). Out of that liquid there is a configuration of cells out of which eventually the new comes forth.
The caterpillar must have a time of waiting, a time of allowing that inner process to occur. When we are in a crisis of the spirit, and we are moving from one stage of evolution to another, one stage of growth and change to another, we must allow ourselves some waiting time.
We, as humans, don’t like to wait. We want it to happen, and we want it to happen now or sooner. We just don’t like to wait. We have a concept that waiting means we’re doing nothing. But this waiting I’m talking about is a deep introspection where we do our spiritual work through prayer and meditations, where we honor all the guidance from God that speak to us.
James 1:1-27 states this about the stages of spiritual transformation, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
We may have all kinds of internal voices pulling us and shaking us up, and we may have a lot of external voices as well that want to dissuade us from moving into that which is our destiny.
Let’s remember it is our destiny to go beyond just being human. God has created us from the beginning of time to be a child of God. All the spiritual insights, and Jesus point to who and what we are becoming.
Our commitment is to become an entirely new person that is strong spiritually. Didn’t Paul say something about being a new creature in Christ? We’re going to be a new creature in Christ; a new, wondrous being. But we must allow time and let the waiting do its holy work. As we take our time inwardly in prayer; let’s remember that.
Sometimes it may take weeks or months to move through all the layers and come to the place of resolution. We will have conflict, stress, and pulling in many different directions, but the day will come when we will feel a peace in our new way of being. It will be all to the glory of God – to honor that Spirit that is us.
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Henry David Thoreau had the luxury of choosing to live part of his life at Walden Pond. He talked about this time at Walden Pond. In February, 1857 he wrote: “You think I am impoverishing myself by withdrawing from men, but in my solitude I have woven for myself a silken web [or chrysalis]. A nymph-like shell, air long, bursts forth a more beautiful, perfect creature.” In our waiting we are creating a chrysalis and we will burst forth a new creature.
I would invite you to close your eyes at this point, and acknowledge with me (as I acknowledge within myself) that each of us is so much more than the eye sees or the mind declares. Let’s acknowledge, for a moment, this wonderful body in which we live, move, and function in this world.
Let’s acknowledge that we are one with God by nature. We have the seed of Spirit planted within us. Probably, for many of us, we have been loving and acknowledging this Divine essence of our being–maybe for a long time. Maybe we have been struggling with the either/or of the human and the Divine. Maybe today we are facing a baffling crisis of the Spirit. Maybe we consciously choose to have a baffling crisis of the Spirit so that we might hold the possibility, of something greater.
Even in the midst of any anxiety that this thought might bring up, let’s hold the wonder, excitement, and joy of the new that is being birthed in us and through us. Our destiny is to become a child of God human being.
We know as we walk through the seasons of our lives that we do not walk alone. We have the promise of Jesus Christ that He will always walk with us, be our friend, companion, and Way-shower. He has already gone this route. He already knows the ups and downs, twists and turns. We do not have to go it alone or figure it out totally by ourselves. He will whisper in the ear of our heart and make the road a bit less bumpy.
In the fullness of time we will stand in consciousness, in being-ness, in expression, with Jesus.
Let us pray…
Thank You, God, for our holy destiny. May we have the courage, strength, and conviction to become a totally new person. In the name and through the living, loving presence of Jesus Christ we pray and believe…Amen.