When Wonder Never Ceases

psalm 71

Every spring for the past five years or so, we’ve watched caterpillars climb to the top of a tiny cup, flip themselves upside down, spin a chrysalis, and emerge a week later as butterflies.

This year, though, my daughters suggested doing something different.

After all, we’re old hands at this metamorphosis thing.

How about something new?

What if we ordered a frog kit instead?  The company sends us a tadpole. We watch it become a frog and then we release it in a local pond.  Perfect!

So, I started researching frog kits and we were all excited until I read the comments.  These frogs live for 20-30 years.

I wasn’t sure I wanted such a long-term commitment.  My children should be off living adult lives by then and I’d still be home tending to our everlasting frog.

And we couldn’t release this frog to any old outdoor body of water either.  The frogs in the kit aren’t native to our area, and that could devastate the local wildlife population.

So, we decided that unless we found a local tadpole who we could raise to become a local frog, we’d stick to caterpillars in a cup.

I’m so glad we did.

Those caterpillars arrived and my son watched their centimeter long bodies creep around the plastic.

He learned how to say ‘caterpillar’ and he said it over and over and over, pointing at them to make sure I’d seen them and knew they were in our house sitting on our fireplace mantle.

He couldn’t wait to share the good news about the caterpillars. He told me. He told his dad.  He told his sisters.  He told the air.  “Caterpillar, caterpillar, caterpillar.”

And then each caterpillar spun into a chrysalis and my son learned a new word and made more grand announcements.

The translation went something like this:

“Caterpillar go up.  Sleeping in chrysalis.”

Who knew an unmoving chrysalis could be so entertaining?  He’d watch the cup just as happily as if the caterpillars were still crawling around in there.

Then the most exciting day came.  We peeked into the bug carrier and saw our first butterfly, completely still, waiting for his wings to dry.

My son now had big news.  Big, big news.

“Caterpillar go up.  Sleep in chrysalis.  Butterfly.”

As more butterflies emerged, they began fluttering around and hopping onto the flowers we’d left for them.

And my son giggled.  He just laughed and laughed at the sight.

In all our planning and thinking that maybe the butterfly thing was old-news and maybe we should try something different, I’d forgotten that even though we’d seen the butterflies transform year after year, he hadn’t.

For my son, this was newfound joy.  This was childlike wonder and living amazed at the beauty of new life.

In Luke 5, I read about the disciples limping onto shore after a long and unsuccessful night of fishing.

They’d caught nothing.

Yet, Jesus sends them back out.  He tells them to set down those same nets into that same water.

Simon Peter protests at first but chooses to obey.  They take the boat out.  They put down the nets yet again.

And they haul in the catch of all catches.

Their nets broke with the weight of the fish.  They yelled for partners to join them out on the water to haul in the load faster.

Luke writes:

…he (Peter) and all those with him were amazed at the catch of fish they took  (Luke 5:9 HCSB).

They were amazed.  They were flabbergasted and overwhelmed by awe.  They were made breathless by the wonder.

I bet they were pulling with all their might, load after load, like the fish just wouldn’t stop coming, and they must have been breathless and laughing in astonishment.

They’d yanked nets of fish into their boats many times before.  This was different.  This was God-at-work.

Years from then, those disciples would see the lame dance, the blind see, the deaf hear, food multiplied to feed a crowd, and their crucified Savior resurrected.

But right at this moment, they marveled at a boat weighed down with fish.

I pause and ask for this:

Lord, help me be amazed. Like my son standing on a kitchen stool so he can watch butterflies bounce around their home…..like the disciples exclaiming over an inexplicable abundance of fish….let me rejoice in you.

Don’t let me lose the wonder, not the wonder of the cross, the wonder of your creation, the wonder of your grace poured out in every detail of my life.

Help me to see afresh.  Help me to consider anew.  Fill me with such childlike joy in the Good News that I can’t help but share it over and over and over.

This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes (Psalm 118:23).

3 thoughts on “When Wonder Never Ceases

    • Jill West says:

      Your blog is like a breath of fresh air whenever I read it 🙂
      I have to share…. Butterflies hold a special meaning for our family. I’ve always had a love of butterflies but it wasn’t until later in life that I realized why they would be so important. In 2005, our oldest daughter was doing karate at the time. Her instructor was having a hard time remembering her name because there was a Kayla and a Kelsee in her class. So he would call her by anything BUT Kayleigh. Then she mastered a new spinning kick and he called her Miss Butterfly…it stuck. She found her love of butterflies as well! We bought her one of those butterfly kits too. We had 5 beautiful butterflies to release 🙂 Then in 2010, we started regularly attending a new church in Grafton. The girls got involved with the youth group and they LOVED it. The girls both got baptized there and we used the butterfly as an example during that time….dying to your old life and emerging as a new beautiful butterfly. Once again, the butterfly had a new meaning for our family. And then last year at school, Kacey was bullied the whole year. She thought her place was on the football field and she loved her saxophone more than anything but she couldn’t handle the stress from the bullies. She ended up quitting band and praying for God to show her what His plan for her was. During this time, she was regularly meeting with our youth worship leader at church. She grew musically and began her journey of singing on stage with the youth worship team regularly each week. She had never prayed out loud before and she knew her day was coming to close with prayer from the stage. She was nervous about it….VERY nervous! The youth worship leader finally looked at her and said,”Be a butterfly, not a cocoon!” That simple phrase changed her life forever. She began to think like a butterfly and before we knew it, she was applying it to EVERYTHING she did! She was praying out loud, becoming more social than she’d ever been, telling everyone she knew about Jesus and LIVING with her new wings! She forgave those bullies, although they don’t talk at all now, she can walk past them in the hallway and smile. She knows how it feels to really spread her wings and fly. So now when she sees someone starting to waver or stumble…she tells them to “Be a butterfly, not a cocoon” and it’s been so beautiful to watch. She was so focused on the one door that God had closed for her that she failed to see the other ten that flew open. Once she turned around and saw them all…she ran… or we could say…she flew! ❤ Thank you so much for sharing your love for the Lord with us through your blog (and at rehearsals) Love ya!!

      • Heather C. King says:

        Jill, I loved reading this and seeing how meaningful butterflies are, especially how they helped Kacey be so brave against opposition and find the WHO God has for her to be. Amazing!! Thank you for sharing because it was such a blessing to read.

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