Transformation. One of my favorite examples in nature is the grounded, ugly caterpillar who transforms into a beautiful butterfly who joyfully flutters into the fresh, spring sky. Similarly, one of my favorite Jesus stories is how He transformed six large stone jars filled with plain water miraculously into wine. Not just any wine……the best wine.
Do you feel like the ugly, grounded caterpillar today? or do you feel as empty as a stone jar? Perhaps you have cried so many tears that you believe you could have filled one of those 30 gallon containers. I have scribbled notes in my Bible next to the Wedding of Cana story during three desert times in my life in which I felt like a caterpillar struggling in a dark cocoon to be set free from the downward pull of grief. Three times when I felt as cold and empty as one of the stone jars. The notes read : I feel weak. a second time: so tired, empty. and third: weepy, headache.
But those notes are not the end of my story because I came and sat at the feet of Jesus day after day and He gently changed those tear-filled jars into sweet, joyful wine. He helped me to shed the cocoon of sadness and grief.
And next to those sad words during those dry times, this verse is scribbled in my bible next to the Wedding of Cana (John Ch. 2)
I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console and gladden them after their sorrows. Jeremiah 31: 13
Let us never forget the end of the story. In the physical, caterpillars change into butterflies and the best wine is produced during dry seasons when the vine roots go deep and the grapes produced are the sweetest. In the spiritual, ordinary water is transformed into sweet wine, wine is changed into the redeeming blood of the Lamb and God changes our weary, weepy hearts into hearts overflowing with hope and joy.
What did Mary tell the servers in this first miracle of Jesus? she told them,
Do “whatever He tells you.”
So your role in this transformation is to trust and obey. Sometimes like the butterfly we are to just wait and let God heal in His own sweet time as He transforms our broken hearts. While we wait we can show our trust by writing down what we are thankful for and worshiping God even in the dark cocoon when we do not understand the whys. I have found that we don’t need to know the Why’s…We just need to get to know the “who”. The names of God are adjectives that help us to know Him better. Meditate on the names and the character of God. (He is love, He is good, and He is in Control is a phrase I repeat often when struggling in a dark cocoon of doubt or confusion)
Another positive choice would be to join a support group and let God use people to show His love and to help you heal. Also, exercise and fresh air is such a necessary gift so go out often and take walks in nature and see the beauty and hope that God desires to share with you. Reach out and seek to help others, as the servers took action and filled the jars with water. Allow Jesus’ touch to transform these acts of service into healing for you and those around you.
So my advice would be to start the day in quiet with Jesus and in His word (write down three things you are thankful for in your journal after you write out all your emotions and questions) and then seek ways to show care for your body and those around you while you wait for transformation.
Nothing is wasted in God’s kingdom and so during this time of slow, painful drought is when your spiritual roots will spread down the deepest. One cannot race past this time of growth and strengthening, just as one should not remove the butterfly before his wings are strong enough to fly. Trust and obey during this desert time. Bit by Bit keep seeking out the next best choice. Make healthy choices for your mind, body and soul. Staying hydrated sometimes is the first best choice if you’ve been crying or have a headache.
Just as the Jesus saved the best Wine for the 2nd half of the wedding reception, we believe that God promises the same for His children. He promises the Best is yet to be…..in this world and beyond.
So…….What do the final verses of the Greatest book of all time say…….God’s final promises to His people ?
Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain for the old order has passed away. Behold, I make all things new. ( Rev. 21: 3-5 )