Unshakeable Devotional - Catching Caterpillars And Running From Bears

Catching Caterpillars And Running From Bears

By: Pastor Jeremiah Ziegler, Student Pastor
One of my favorite things to do with our five-year-old and three-year-old boys is catching caterpillars. With eyes peeled and a storage container in hand, we love hunting for the furry creatures. For fun we also keep our eyes peeled for bears. Now, I know we may never see a bear on one of these adventures, but the fun is pretending that we always have to be on the lookout. Balancing these two efforts makes for a laughable time together.

One day this got me thinking: maybe bears and caterpillars have something in common. They both have fur, sure, but even more precariously, like what we are going through right now as a society, they both go through unique seasons in their lives. When bears prepare for winter, they get ready for hibernation - a season where they store up food and sleep in a cave for extended periods of time. I don’t know about you but there may be some similarities between my schedule and a bear’s right about now.

On the other hand, caterpillars go through an extended season of metamorphosis. During this season, caterpillars spin into a cocoon, where they will spend this time growing and struggling.

We also have been dropped into a pretty unique season, but we have a choice. I love this verse:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 NKJV emphasis added).

Funny enough, the Greek word used for “transform” in the verse above is: metamorphose. Which is where we get the word, yes you guessed it, metamorphosis.

I believe that God uses opportunities like the one we are in to allow us to transform and change to grow closer to Him and our purpose. The question becomes: will you choose to use this season to hibernate or to go through metamorphosis? Bears essentially check out, while caterpillars spend their time struggling and fighting to change and transform into what was their purpose all along - a new creature. The power is in the process.

I believe this verse gives us some insight into how we can take advantage of this season of metamorphosis. Here are some practical tips to make sure you are being transformed and not simply hibernating:

Embrace the struggle
Paul, the author of Romans, gives us a little insight that transformation starts and ends with where our minds are at. What do our thoughts look like? A caterpillar has a purpose for their pain and finds strength through the struggle. We can do the same with a fresh perspective.

Engage in the struggle
Transformation requires us to engage in the battle. In order for us to be changed, we have to fuel our focus. Use this time to spend more time with God than you ever have before. If you normally spend 15 minutes, spend 30 minutes. If you normally spend an hour, spend two. Just take another step - we need it in this season.

Exit the struggle
If caterpillars could think, I don’t think there would be a single one that would regret their metamorphosis season. When they exit their struggle, they exit more beautiful and powerful than before. Even though we can’t exit our circumstances, we can exit how we view them. We must get to the mindset where we are no longer just surviving but thriving through this. Let’s move to the point where we can thank God for more time with immediate family, the opportunity to grow with him and for the strength that this struggle will produce. Like Paul writes in the verse, our lives become proof of God’s good and perfect will!

Let’s catch some caterpillar habits in this season!

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Micheal Fretwell - April 29th, 2020 at 6:42am

Im not much on hibernating but i sure can waste some time!! Got the message that we were being rained out right after i finished lacing up my boots this morning..havent moved from the spot since i got it. Goes back to that whole self discipline/control thing. Thanks for the encouraging word Pastor Jeremiah!! Time to move!

Walter Jansen - April 29th, 2020 at 9:07am

Hello Brother Miah, I really love this. It really makes you think. With everything going on. We can let our faith hibernate or we can let it be the struggle and sore in the sky with our faith. I have always loved the caterpillar and the Butterfly for the transformation to me is our soul being saved. The transformation is not easy but in the end we will be able to fly with our Heavenly Father. Thank you Brother for the great message 🙏.

I pray that you and the family is safe. I love you all very much.

Chris Han - April 29th, 2020 at 9:32am

Good stuff