My son caught a butterfly this week. It was big and yellow and he named it Humongo. My son was so gentle and cautious with the butterfly, tenderly holding its temporary plastic prison up to show his friends.
Within minutes, my son and his butterfly were neighborhood celebrities. Kids came out of yards and off scooters to crowd around the creature. They noted its fuzzy antenna and impressive wingspan. They all gaped in wonder as my son released the butterfly and it flew, majestically “like a mini bird,” as one neighbor-girl observed.
Of course, the butterfly did not begin so beautifully. The mangy crawling caterpillars have an uncanny ability to creep my kids out. But metamorphosis ensures the creature transforms, to the giddy delight of anyone age 10 or younger in our neighborhood, apparently.
God’s people are invited to a similar metamorphosis. As we live out our identity as children of God, the Lord works in us to make us more like Christ. This process is called sanctification.
Note, Scripture is clear we do not live up to holiness or achieve this transformation, rather we live from holiness as we receive God’s grace to be transformed. Also, sanctification is a separate process from Salvation.
We are participants, but powerless without the grace of God. My husband likes to invite my son to “mow the lawn” with him. Our 3 year old pushes his bubble mower, creating a soapy mess and looking adorable in his underwear and sandals. Like my son, we are invited to participate, but the Father is the only one accomplishing the work.
Sadly, we can reject the invitation to be a part of what God is doing. We are often most susceptible to slipping away in the summertime. The routine is off. The schedule is sporadic. The nights are long and the months are short. Fit in as much happiness as possible!
However, that is not a recipe for contentment or confident living. That was never the point of summer holiday.
It’s ironic, how often we pair the word “holiday” with leisure, pleasure, and self-centeredness. It seems we think the word originated from the phrase “happy day” not “holy day.”
And that is just what Christ is determined to do within your life: transform you into a new creation, holy as Christ is holy.
It takes intentionality to stay present with this process. You must reorient your summer to be full of holy-days, not just happy-days. You must say yes to joining the Lord in His work, even if it feels like you are just pushing around a bubble mower.
In reality, you are connecting with Abba, daddy. He is enjoying your presence as you learn to imitate Christ. As you grow, he will use your story of transformation to invite another caterpillar into butterfly freedom. There are so many souls watching, waiting in wonder at what it takes to be a child of God. Will you display your story like my son shared the butterfly with every neighbor he could find?
Don’t miss the opportunity to be transformed this summer. Don’t slip away from His presence. Don’t slide down the slippery hill of self-gratification. In your summer fun (and the next chapter is all about fun!), claim your truest confidence and contentment by staying sanctified in Christ.
Thanks for reading Part 4 of my new e-book Stay Present Summer. There are LOADS of extras in the book, including
- tips for staying screen free,
- Bible readings,
- memory verses,
- journal prompts,
- activities you can enjoy with your kids (or roomies!)
- and more!
Download Stay Present Summer: 7 Ways to Claim Confidence and Contentment This Season here: Get my Free E-book!