Encounter: Slowly read through 1 Timothy chapter 1, verses 13-17 in The Passion Translation. Underline a word or phrase that stands out to you. You don’t have to figure out why this word or phrase is making an impression at this stage. You can also write these words in your journal.
My mother is a master gardener. Not because a garden club gave her that title but because she lives and breathes flowers and plants and is available at all hours, (kind of like google) for every question I have about what’s eating my plant or where I plant this or that to make it grow.
Years ago, I helped her create a butterfly garden in the backyard. I remember her saying how important it was to plant milkweed because milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly. Without milkweed, the larva would not be able to develop into a butterfly. The shortage of Milkweed in our environment these days is detrimental to the transformation of the caterpillar into what it was always meant to be…a butterfly. Without change, without the crucible of the chrysalis, we would have no monarch.
Too often, we are like the caterpillar who looked up to see a beautiful butterfly floating by and said, “You’ll never see me going up in one of those things.”
We shy away from change sometimes out of fear and other times we are just comfortable with our old, familiar patterns when what God really has in store for us is something extraordinary. But it takes time in the chrysalis.
Reflect: Paul describes his time in the chrysalis as being, “…flooded with such incredible grace, like a river overflowing its banks, until I was full of faith and love for Jesus, the Anointed One!” Sounds wonderful, right? Until we read Paul’s life story and see the things he went through as he was being transformed. I’m sure he would tell us, “Don’t be too hard on yourself in the process, the Journey forward takes time to find our calling, learn obedience, love others, and walk through suffering. Praise God any way and walk in prayer.
Encourage: Just like milkweed, the church, you & meJ are called to be places where people land, where we can attach to one another and provide spiritual nourishment to sustain us on the journey of transformation. That is what being the church is all about.
How is God calling you to be the milkweed for someone? Pray and ask God to bring someone to mind and reach out to be that safe place of encouragement on their journey. Who is your milkweed?
Gather: In the next 5 days, read through the last chapter in the Easter Challenge and make some goals for your journey with Jesus as you engage with each day’s invitation. Share your thoughts with your Life Group, Triad or friend about what you’re learning in the chrysalis.
We are all experiencing changes that at times can bring anxiety and fear. I wonder if we can see life like time in God’s chrysalis – maybe we can see that just when the caterpillar thought life was coming to an end, it became a butterfly.
Be the Milkweed,
P.S. And remember, take Mom’s advice, help the monarch, plant some milkweed! Happy Mother's Day!!