Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I am not the most patient person in the world.  You can pray for me.
I like to see things happen.  I like to help make things happen.  I like to see "PROGRESS!"
I remember when I was giving birth to Joshua.  Joshua was STUCK.  I was in labor for 27 1/2 hours.  I remember asking the midwives (who knows how many times) are we making any progress?  Anyhow...

I like progress.  I like to see results.  Life isn't always cooperative with this kind of an attitude.  Although it can be a great attitude in many work situations, it can be frustrating as a parent or in dealing with people situations (or waiting on work from others).

Back on February 6th of this year, we were just adjusting to the addition of little Alto to our lives.  She had just arrived the day before according to my pictures on my phone.  I was outside and the cat was watching something.  As I looked, I saw the biggest and (honestly) rather scary looking, hairy caterpillar that I had ever seen before.  (Many of the hairy ones can cause serious skin irritation.)  He was headed for the porch, so I captured him in a jar.  We observed him for a while, and decided we had better let him loose before night.
You can see the beginnings of his cocoon at the bottom.
We coaxed him onto a tree just outside the fence.  When I took him out of the jar, I noticed he had something started (web?  I didn't know what it was.)
The next morning, I went out and he was no longer a caterpillar!
There was this soft mass covered with hair and spines attached to the tree where I had left him the evening before.

By the end of the day, it had formed up a little more.

I am not sure how long we left it there before I decided I wanted to see what came out of that cocoon. I cut the bark off the tree and glued him to a craft stick, and we kept him in the house.
In the beginning we would check on him almost daily.  Then it became checking on him a few times a week.  Then as the months went by, I would sometimes forget about him completely.
From time to time we would search online to see if we could identify him by the caterpillar stage and also the cocoon stage.  From our research, we thought it might be a African wild silk moth.
I was concerned that the cocoon might be getting to dry, or too hot, or too who-knows-what.  I had never hatched a cocoon before.  One day while working at my desk which is in my bedroom, I heard a faint scratching sound a few times.  I though maybe we had a mouse in our room.  Then after a while, I thought it might be the cocoon.  It had lots of spines on it.   I moved the little bucket which contained him right next to my work area.  Sure enough, a little later in the day, that thing moved so much I saw it out of the corner of my eye.  It was very active.  At least I knew it was still alive!
We decided it was time to move it to the "bug house" that Joshua had started many months ago.  Trying to relocate this spiny thing without getting poked is challenging.  Those spines make me itch.
He was moved.  Then the wait started again.  We would check more often again.
The days passed on.
One afternoon, I walked into my room and what do you know?!  There was a huge moth in there with the cocoon!  I made some kind of excited sound as I saw it.  Joshua heard me and said, "What?!"

Then he said, "OH!!!!"
He figured it out without me saying anything.  Soon he was in my room with me, checking out our long awaited guest!
It was August 15th!  It had been more than SIX MONTHS!
We were so excited that he lived and was actually pretty cute.

We were able to share how moths and butterflies change from caterpillars with several people.  Our worker Beltina was totally surprised to learn this.  She said that the village people had seen such cocoons while gathering fire wood, but didn't know what they were.

After watching him for several house, taking lots of pictures, and sharing him with others, we put him outside on the porch post.
The next morning, he was still there.
The next morning, he was STILL there.
Finally after a few days, he was gone.  I am assuming he caught the sent of a female and flew away to start the next generation of such moths.
There are so many lessons that we can take away from this experience.
First, patience.  Some things take time.  There are some things that should not be rushed.  Growth normally takes time.  We need to be patient with each other and even ourselves.  As we look to Jesus, know His true character, and trust Him, we become more and more like Him, the changes will come.  Some changes are fast, others take effort as we must keep our eyes on Jesus and accept victory in Him daily.  My job is "to seek Him" with my whole heart, soul, strength, and mind.  He has the victory for me, I need to keep looking to Him and accept it.  In my own strength, I can do NOTHING, but "in Him" I can do all things... which leads to the next lesson -
When that "bug" was in the cocoon, what was it?  It was GOO!  That caterpillar totally (TOTALLY!) dissolved.  I could not open it up and find a 1/2 caterpillar and 1/2 moth at any stage.  That needs to be the same with me.  When I am converted, my goals, my motives, my life need to be all about loving God and wanting to bring Him glory.  If I try to go 1/2 way, I will not become what God is trying to make of my life.  I need to be a NEW CREATURE in Christ Jesus.  The OLD must pass away and all things must become new.
It amazes me to this day that many of the things I once loved, have no appeal to me today.  Many of the things I didn't like, today I love.
And daily, God is still changing me.  He is helping me leave off wrong thoughts which lead to wrong feelings.  He is trying to make something beautiful out of my life even though I have been an ugly caterpillar and scary cocoon.  In the right lighting, that moth is beautiful!
When I stay in the sunshine of God's love, others may get a glimpse of Jesus (even through me!)
That bug's job was to stay in the plan.  My job is to stay in the center of the God's will for my life.  He is changing me.  He is helping me let go of things that bring pain to myself and others.  Some day... some day...  He will finished that which He has begun in me.
I am so looking forward to Heaven.  I am looking forward to knowing my Jesus face to face.  I am looking forward to seeing all of creation without the slightest blight of sin.
How about you?  I hope so!  God loves you!
You know, we can have some ugly spots in our lives.  That caterpillar and cocoon were rather scary and even dangerous.  No matter what mistakes you may have made, HE LOVES YOU!  And He STILL has a GREAT plan for your life.  Look to Him.  Keep looking to Him.  By beholding we become changed.  Make sure you are looking at the TRUE character of God.  HE IS LOVE!  And everything about Him is Love.
Keep hanging on (just like that cocoon).  The day is coming... just a little bit longer... but not too much longer!