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I was reading Lindsey Nobles’ post With a Heavy Heart and I was reminded of times when I have faced or come through something that challenged the way I thought or believed. It is almost cliche to say that they were life changing moments. I don’t remember when but at some point in my life I began to think of those times as cocoon moments – times when I needed to take a pause and just become introspective.
One of those cocoon moments in my life was during the weeks following my return from an international mission trip. I had visited a country where I was challenged in my understanding of true poverty and the unpleasant realities that accompany it. That time on foreign soil had also been training in what it means to be fully immersed in kingdom work for every waking moment. It is easy for us, or at least for myself, to forget that we are always on mission in our everyday lives in the status quo existence that we call normalcy. Returning from the mission trip had been more of a shock to my system than actually visiting that foreign land had been. I was suddenly faced with bringing those two realities together and figuring out what that meant. I was dissatisfied and restless with a life that I had looked at as fulfilling just a few weeks before. Many things that had held meaning for me had suddenly become meaningless. I needed time to cocoon.
Through the cocoon process I was reminded that God did not change instead He had been working a change in me. There is a quicksilver feel to that transitional process as one reality is traded for another. As I write that sentence I am reminded that we are always discovering new truths in this present reality that point us to a fact that there is something beyond which is more concrete and substantial. It is that assurance that causes our heart’s heaviness because we are aware that we are just strangers passing through a landscape here in which we have a short time to bring part of that future substantiation to bear in the lives of those who have not yet awoken to an awareness of that future reality.
And sometimes it just all seems so futile – too big to be accomplished. Maybe those thoughts come from feeling mired between where we were in the past and where we would like to be in a future that we have so many questions about. The present just appears to be quick sand that fights progress in any direction.
Maybe that is what a caterpillar experiences. It spends so much time just focused on the purpose at hand which in its case is eating. Then one day something happens. Something strange and foreign. Something it has never experienced before. And so it cocoons. What does it experience inside that cocoon? Is there pain? Or excitement? Does it ever feel the process of whatever is happening is just taking too much time?
Who can speak for the thoughts of a bug? One thing we know is that it eventually emerges from its cocoon and it is no longer what it used to be.
Its new reality allows it to take flight.
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles… Isaiah 40:31