Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
What is going on?? I'm in Houston Texas – and it's 36° outside! In spite of the cold temperatures, I have spring on my mind. New leaves are sprouting out all over our trees and the tulips and amaryllis are sporting bright blooms. Out in the fields bluebonnets are covered in buds; in Texas, fields of blue waving in the wind are proof that spring has arrived and summer is just around the corner.
Soon, a host of birds will make a pit stop here as they make their way North for the summer and caterpillars will emerge from their cocoons, amazed by their brand new beauty. As Christians, we often use that transformation as a description of the new birth we experience when we shed our old lives and became new creations in Jesus Christ.
Think about the caterpillar for a moment. Its life's spent crawling around on a bush, eating leaves. There's no hope of a new landscape—everything around it is green. Every meal is the same: leaves and more leaves. It lives to crawl around and eat and eat and eat.
And then it happens. The caterpillar dies and is reborn as a beautiful butterfly. How glorious life becomes! Drab colors are shed for beautiful wings with colors that shimmer like stained glass. The sameness of its surroundings fades away as the butterfly soars over trees and fields and laughing kids playing out in the yard. The taste of leaves is replaced by a buffet of nectar from flowers of every kind. Not only has the caterpillar been transformed, its life has been energized.
I know I'm being silly, giving caterpillars and butterflies awareness and emotions, but what a picture it is of our new life in Christ. Our whole perspective changes. One minute we are defining ourselves by society around us, the next we are reborn as beautiful children of God. Colorless days are now filled with the amazing joy of God's love and the hope of tomorrow—every day is new and exciting. The taste of guilt is replaced by the flavor of forgiveness. Lack of purpose fades into a desire to know Jesus better and an eagerness to serve Him. Boring Sundays are filled with the excitement of worshipping Him. Our hearts are soaring—we can't get enough of Him and we can't stop talking about Him to everyone we know!
If you're like me, some of the wonder has faded over the years. I remember a time when the miracle of Christmas and the glory of Easter flooded over into every day of the year. Ladies, that feeling is just a prayer away. God wants you to rejoice in Him! Celebrate the new life Jesus has given you!
Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (NIV)