We aren’t supposed to blend in, we’re reborn to stand out – I call it the Butterfly Effect.
I’d been crying. I had shared my passionate fire for Jesus with a friend, but she didn’t want to hear it.
I replayed every word in my head. I was trying to speak from love, with gentleness and compassion, being real about my own need, sin, and redemption.
Was I explaining Him wrong?
I kept trying to rephrase it, find just the right words, but nothing I did seemed to matter. She just got less and less willing to listen. She walked away from our conversation without even a good-bye. As the days have passed, I realize she walked away from our friendship, too, at least for now.
I was just devastated. I wanted to chase after her, keep trying to reason with her.
Trying not to sin in my hurt, I decided I needed some quiet time with God in prayer, seeking His solace and comfort. I am just learning how to truly let God be so real for me that I feel His love, but the Bible promises, if we seek Him, we’ll find Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 ESV “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
I decided to claim that promise and went outside to find some quiet and pray. My daughter is wonderful at a great many things, but being quiet is not one of them. 🙂
“Dear God, I don’t know what to do. How do I deal with this pain? How do I heal this fractured relationship? How can I respond now in the best way to witness to her in the future? How can I be obedient to you in the middle of this hurt?” Tears filled my eyes as I prayed.
A small orange and black butterfly swooped over my head and fluttered its way to the tree above. Squinting in the sunlight, I looked into the branches, but it was gone. All I could see was a bunch of leaves browning in the late summer heat wave.
But then the wind rustled the leaves, and the butterfly flickered to catch the cool breeze on her wings. Her vibrant wings shone against the dreary backdrop. God whispered into my heart that moment.A beautiful butterfly can be lost among the dying leaves if she looks like her surroundings. Click To Tweet
A beautiful butterfly can be lost among the dying leaves if she closes up to look like her surroundings. It is only when she dares to open as a new creation that her beauty is obvious.
The Butterfly Effect is to stand out as vibrantly alive in the midst of a dead world.
One tiny butterfly amidst was all the more beautiful because of the contrast between her and the surroundings.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
I’m not supposed to look like the rest of the world anymore. I’m not supposed to blend in. God is calling me to stand out, not as myself, but as a witness for Him.
I may not be blameless in the derailment of our friendship. I may not have presented my faith in the right way or at the right time. I’m learning discernment about how to best reach people where they are, but she wasn’t rejecting me, not really. For the first time, I truly understood the following verse.
John 15:18 ESV “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”
She was rejecting Jesus in me.
I had forgotten what it felt like to be running full tilt away from God, walking away from people who could only talk about Jesus, the darkness in me refusing to be around their light.
Romans 8:7 ESV “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”
Their light made the darkness in me so obvious. I got angry, indignant, and chose my way over God’s. Thank goodness, He didn’t leave me there.
Today, with the amazing truths God is revealing to me, I forgot what it is like to be on the other side of that.
Jesus and the Holy Spirit changed my life, my heart, changed my parenting, and my marriage. I wanted to shout it from the mountains. It was a miracle for my life and family.
Who wouldn’t want a miracle?Who wouldn't want a miracle? People who don't know they need one. #butterflyeffect #newcreation Click To Tweet
People who don’t know they need one. People who have never truly come face to face with their need for salvation and grace.
She couldn’t see God’s blessings in what I was saying. All she could see was the things of this world she would have to give up to follow Christ. I think most believers will tell you that we all have those moments, moments in which we cling to worldly things, selfishly holding onto something we know isn’t what God wants for us only later to realize it was holding us back from the good things God wants for us.
1 John 2:15 ESV “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Serving God has to be an all or nothing proposition.
Being sold out for Jesus is a decision. When the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to God, and I started to understand grace, my whole heart changed perspective. Letting Him clean up my life is a process, but I had to surrender as master of my heart.
I would love to tell you this friend has come back and asked me what makes me so different, and maybe someday I can. I can’t say the hurt is completely gone either, but knowing my responsibility is to grow closer to God is comforting.
I’m learning to listen more, serve more, talk less, know that living differently, loving much, using His butterfly effect is my best witness.
We meet them where they are, not excusing their sin, but loving them anyway as Christ first loved us.
People who are ready, will be drawn to His butterfly effect in me.
I wish I had taken my own pictures, but didn't have a camera handy. I used a couple of photos that represent what I saw, courtesy (respectively) of www.abundantnature.com and watchingtheseasons.blogspot.com and www.ctahr.hawaii.edu