Have you ever been in such a dark place you didn’t think anything good could possibly come out of it? I have. I have spent many years in and out of dark caves, feeling as if this might be the one time I didn’t surface back into the light. The majority of my dark days were before I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, but since then there have been many dark days as I have learned to walk with the Spirit of the Lord. When we go through dark times, no matter the reason, the Bible assures us that all things work together for good to those who Love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose ~ Romans 8:28.
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” ~ John 12:24
Jesus is speaking of His own death to come so that we may live. However, we can apply this to our lives as well. There are things in us that must die before we can fully walk in the abundant life Jesus came to give us. Our ego, where pride and self will are attached is the first that must go yet these are the things we struggle with daily.
Before a seed can become what it was designed to be, it must first cease from being a seed. Botanically a seed doesn’t die before it germinates, it gives up its “seed life” to become a plant life. That’s what we are called to do when we give our lives over to Jesus Christ. We die to our desires of this world, to the love of this world and we begin to live for the love of the Kingdom, God’s world.
When a seed is put into the ground, it goes into the darkness where it will remain until the outer shell breaks open and the first sign of new life springs forth. It is an exciting thing to see the first sprig break through! It is not exciting to watch the seed sit in the dark soil though. The Bible is full of Scriptures that speak of sowing seed, look at what Jesus said about the effects of a seed being properly received by the earth and think of it as our hearts accepting the Truth of the Living God dying for our sins and loving us more than we could imagine.
5 "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 "Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 "But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold." When He had said these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" - Luk 8:5-8 NKJV
There are a lot of people who call themselves Christians. However, very few of them actually follow the teachings of the Bible and the life that Jesus Christ led. Far more Christians represent a carnal life that still loves this world and the things in it rather than a life that has been transformed from seed to plant. A plant yields the fruit.
Darkness brings life if it is not disturbed. A baby in the womb spends nine months in the mother’s darkness, yet it is nourished through the mother’s life. The umbilical cord provides all the nutrients that baby will need to become “germinated” enough to break forth! Germinating is the development of a plant from seed or spore after a period of dormancy as well as the process of something coming into existence and developing. The baby grows in the mother’s womb before it is released into the world while a seed opens and enters the world then begins to develop into its plant life.
Some people were born into Christianity and therefore have no experience of a “non-believers” life, and yet many of these people have no relationship with Christ because they never had their own conversion experience. They are living on the parent’s Christian nutrition; the umbilical cord has never been cut. These people live out their walk through religion and not transformation, and eventually, they will have a faith crisis that will take them through their own germinating process and spring forth with new life, or they will experience a spiritual death.
The Cocoon Process
Through the life and death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we have been called (and brought) out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet 2:9). For Jesus, this happened the moment He came out of His mother’s dark womb, for us it is a process of transformation. We say yes to His purposes and no to ours which begins our journey.
Transformation is the changing from one expression of something or someone into another. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” - Gal 2:20 NKJV
The metamorphoses of a butterfly is an excellent example of transformation as it is almost supernatural. Metamorphoses is a change of physical form or a striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstance. This is precisely what should become of a believer in Jesus. We change our image to His, the way He originally created us. We do this a couple of ways, by the transforming and renewing of our minds and from glory to glory. I will get to that in a minute.
The caterpillar spends its life eating until one day it is wrapped in darkness, a cocoon or chrysalis. During this time of darkness, the caterpillar liquefies. During the process of transformation, one must not disturb the cocoon or the whole process may be botched and the beauty of the butterfly never completed. Studies suggest that moths remember what they learned in the later stages of their lives as caterpillars yet they do not reflect that identity. That is how it is for us as well.
Darkness Brings Beauty
I have recently learned to stop despising the dark places I end up in if indeed the Father has brought me there. I used to be combative in the “dark, transformation process” but now I embrace it knowing that when I come out, I will be transformed to the image of my Lord, more confident and capable of doing the will of the Father without the previous life hanging on. I learn to let go of the pain, false identity, self-will, rejection, pride, etc. of the former life, though I still remember those things they no longer affect me.
The transforming into the Christ-like identity is a process, so if you haven’t arrived yet fear not because as you yield to the darkness light will spring forth and will bring new life.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. - 2Co 3:18 NKJV
Submit yourself today to the Fathers will and if He leads you into darkness remember it is for His glory in the end. We are not to be conformed to this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we may prove what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is. (Rom 12:2)
Don’t lose hope in the darkness because our willingness to look at it is what can empower us to change. Embrace it and invite the Light of the world that is Jesus Christ to pull you out in His timing and you will be beautiful.
Heavenly Father, I come before Your throne room in need of mercy and grace to embrace the darkness that has engulfed me. I desire to yield my will to Yours and to see the Face of grace that will transform me into a greater vessel for Your kingdom purposes. As I embrace this darkness until life springs forth I choose to trust You in the process. You hold my life in the palm of Your hand and I am assured that You think of me with good thoughts and that Your plans are to prosper me and not to harm me. Help me today as I stop the struggling in the cocoon and allow You to bring me forth. In Jesus name, Amen.
Pregnancy picture credit to https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319257.php