Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sending Butterflies

When I was a sophomore in college, I had a pretty tough year.  

First, I got tendinitis in both of my wrists at the same time.  This was very painful, and I still have somewhat weak wrists all these many years later.  The worst thing, though, was the debilitation.  I had trouble with my classwork, as most of it involved writing (no laptops in those days!), I had trouble eating with my wrists immobilized in splints, I couldn't touch a piano - and I was a piano major used to practicing at least 3 hours every day - and I even had to ask my roommate to turn on and off the shower, because my wrists were so weak.  Talk about a humbling experience!  

Then, later in the year, I contracted mononucleosis.  I trudged through for a while, believing I had the flu, until I landed in the infirmary.  I had to go home for two weeks and had to make up the work when I got back to school.  

But somehow, I made it through that year and eventually graduated from college.  During that year, my mother sent me a delicate butterfly pin.  She said she was sending me a "Survival Butterfly," and I've kept it as a symbol, pulling it out when life starts to get tough.  

Earlier this summer, I was having a sort of mini-nervous breakdown one night.  It was late on a Saturday, and I was still trying to get the supper dishes done, get my Sunday school lesson ready, and figure out the music for church the next morning.  This is actually pretty normal for my Saturday night, but for some reason I was feeling totally exhausted and unable to get anything done.  I started praying to God, and wandered out into my living room.

The outside light was on, because my husband was still at work, and the door was open, because it was a warm night.  As I went to look outside, this is what I saw on the screen.
Female Promethea Moth
It was about 3 1/2 inches across, and so brilliant I couldn't believe it.  I've never seen one before or since, and had to look it up in a butterfly book in the library to figure out what kind of moth it was.  But I knew why it was there.  God was sending me a butterfly!  And since I needed it right then, and butterflies are usually out during the day, he decided to send me a beautiful moth instead.  And I felt better immediately.  Through my tears, I got out my crayola water paint set, and tried to capture it on paper.  I'm not much of an artist, but just the act of focusing on the intricate markings, and dipping the brush into the paint, was healing for me.  I finished my painting, and got back to work with a smile on my face.  

I had a dream last night - of my beautiful friend, Dianne.  She has been gone for over a year and a half, and though I think of her fondly, nothing like this has ever happened.  In my dream, she was dying.  But the day after she died, she miraculously came back to life, and was completely well.  I was so happy!  In fact, when I woke up and realized it wasn't true, I became a little depressed.  And today has had a cloud over it.  But you know, I believe my dream is true.  I believe that she is well and whole right now, and alive.  Because Jesus promised that we would have a new body, and our death on earth is a new birth into heaven.  Just like a caterpillar seems to die, but is really changed into a whole new creature, freer than it ever was before.

And we can have new life here, on earth.  Jesus promises that when we choose to follow him, we can be born again.  Our old life doesn't have to rule us anymore.  We can be free in Christ, instead of bound by the laws of sin.  We are a new creation, spiritually, now, and physically, later.  What a promise!

What are you dealing with today?  It could be physical problems, monetary issues, problems with other people, anything.  Pray.  And wait for the blessing.  It's God sending you a butterfly!

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