“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
After the destruction of my entire Brussel sprout plants this summer, I must confess that I honestly did not like caterpillars. I was never fond of their shape, colour or movement but now, as an enthusiastic amateur gardener, I found myself hating them! However, as with all of God’s wonderful creation, they have a valuable lesson to offer us humans.
In their larval and cocoon stage, caterpillars are, let’s face it – ugly! No pun intended but they give me the creeps! However, I have been compelled to rethink my bias. First, when God created the insect world, along with all else, He saw that it was good (Genesis 1:31). Secondly, God has a purpose for all His creation; recently I discovered His purpose for caterpillars when I came across a fridge magnet and this is what it said:
‘Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.’
I have no reference for the source of the proverb, but I am extremely grateful to them. This poor bug ending its days, cramped and stiff as a larva, suddenly sprouts wings and becomes a magnificent butterfly – who would have thought it? Each day I look at the magnet and am reminded of God’s plan for me.
To me the parallel is obvious, there I was plodding along in my sin, blundering from crisis to crisis, at times thoroughly depressed, when God in His infinite mercy called me, opened my eyes, forgave me, and washed me clean. He makes me new every morning in His eyes (Lamentations 3:23). Who knows? Maybe one day I will have wings like a butterfly!
The important thing is that God has plans for me, He loves me and does not look on my ‘ugliness’ but on my potential as His daughter and what I can achieve by His grace and might.
Maybe caterpillars are not so bad after all!
Loving Father, thank you for the infinite love and mercy you show us each day. Thank you also for the lessons we can learn from your marvellous creation. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Study by Irene Wilson
About the writer:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford congregation
of Grace Communion International,
and also serves on the Pastoral Council.
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Local congregational contact:
Word of Life contact: