We had taken a boat ride across Jennie Lake and hiked up the Cascade Canyon Trail, and were stopped for lunch before heading back to catch the boat again. As we were sitting there, this strange-looking butterfly stopped for a rest. It really looked out of place on the boulder, like it should be on the side of a tree trunk somewhere instead, or on some really curly lichen. There it would definitely be camouflaged! But here its strange shape stood out quite well.
And then, all of a sudden, I got a glimpse of its true colors!
It was sunning itself on the warm rock, and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I didn’t catch it on film, but when it was on another rock between me and the sun, the light actually shone through the open wings, giving the gray undersides a hint of color as well. It was a beautiful surprise!
God has created true beauty all around us, and if we are followers of Christ, He is making true beauty IN us as well.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).
A new creation has a completely new look! The best way to have our new, true colors shine out for others to see is to live in and walk in the Light. I never would have seen the beauty of that butterfly if it had been nighttime, or if it had never opened its wings to the light of the sun.
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life'” (John 8:12).
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Living in the light of Christ is a choice we make. No one can force it on us; we have to personally choose it daily.
If we choose to follow Christ, we can go beyond the abilities of this butterfly. How’s that, you ask? Not only does living in the light of Christ bring out the best in us as new creations, but we become lights ourselves! Please let me know if I’m wrong, but I don’t know of any butterflies that produce their own light!
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15).
Jesus’ next words describe what being a light looks like:
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Our light doesn’t shine in fancy clothes, new cars, the latest hairstyles, or opulent mansions. Our light shines through how we do what we do, and why we do it.
The more time we spend with our Creator as He fashions a new heart in us, the more our longings will be in line with his will. We will find ourselves living to please him instead of ourselves, and in doing so live out an active love for others.
The closer we get to him, the stronger his light will shine through us, and our lives will point them to the source of everything good.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 7:17).
Don’t hide the true colors and amazing beauty of what God is doing in your life, my friend!
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.
Here are a few more pictures from that amazing day in Grand Teton National Park. You should definitely visit someday if you have the opportunity!