One-a-Day...for the Heart: The Lion and the Butterfly
I like to make up stories and have done it for years with my children and grandchildren. This God-capsule comes in a different form...
Once upon a time there was a butterfly named Rhoda. First she was a pudgy, chubby pupa squeezed into a very tight chrysalis (cocoon), attached to a large tulip tree leaf. Rhoda was nearly suffocating in the tiny house she was confined in, and she made it her day’s work to push and push and push until a pinpoint size hole poked through the stiff wall of the chrysalis. She had no idea what she would do when she broke through, but life beyond her chrysalis just had to be better than life inside. Feeling trapped and captive, Rhoda had no time at all to think of anything hopeful or exciting. Life as a pupa was reduced to survival. Just breathe, Rhoda. Breathe and push, breathe and push. Is this it? Rhoda wondered. If only I could bust out of this prison! I know I can do more than this! What kind of a loser am I? These prison walls are so unyielding. Face it, I’m just chained to this leaf; bound up inside this darkness forever! Rhoda’s desperate efforts exhausted her, and she decided to rest awhile. As Rhoda rested, unbeknownst to her, a lion was strolling in her neighborhood, padding along warily, inspecting the area for any threats of danger in his territory. Jude (the lion) patrolled the area regularly and readily spotted even the smallest changes. His watchful eye noticed a bit of fluff on the ground below the towering tulip tree where he loved to sleep. Upon inspection, Jude reached up and gently knocked the large leaf with Rhoda on it, to the ground. Inside the chrysalis, Rhoda was rudely awakened from her nap, and felt a rapid descent and harsh landing on the ground. Oh my!! she screamed. It’s over! So this is how it ends?? I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up! Just then, Jude gently batted the chrysalis with his big paw. Rhoda rolled over and over before settling in a grassy spot under the tree. She covered her eyes from the bright sunlight, and slid out of the chrysalis on the grass in front of Jude. He sat watching her intently, and as she emerged in a blaze of brilliant orange and black, he extended his large paw for her to climb onto. Her chubby, squishy pudginess was replaced with wings that began flapping and carrying her up onto Jude’s massive shoulders. Whew! That was nuts! Rhoda exclaimed. I’m free!! Check this out! she shouted, as she flew off Jude’s shoulders and into the sky. I’ve got places to go and things to do!
Freedom in Christ is a wonderful thing. I was a Rhoda once, before Jesus broke the chains of sin that bound me to a prison within myself. Without hope, sad and brokenhearted, I could only see darkness, until the light of Christ’s love broke through. Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (“praise”), and His death purchased our release from the prison of sin and a life of enslavement to it. "Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David's throne, has won the victory! (Revelation 5:5 NLT). He won the victory over sin and death! That’s great news if you’re stuck in an unyielding chrysalis of life! When He lifts the burden of guilt and sin from us, the prison walls crumble, and we are free! Like Rhoda, when we are freed and able to be about our Father’s business, we’ve got places to go and things to do! A favorite song of mine begins, He’s the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Jesus took our chains, broke them, and freed us. Now He is our Rock, our Victory! I proclaim this for anyone trapped in a dark prison of hopelessness: He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. (Psalm 40:2 NLT).