Jeannie Sinclair: SOS – Look in, Look up, Look out


Look Up, Look In, Look Out

The metamorphosis of the caterpillar is used many times to express salvation. A worm goes in and shazam a beautiful butterfly comes out. Seems like an instant process. So I’d like to take it a different route and use the example as a way to express Christianity. 

We rarely look at the poor little saved worm and think of how long the process takes and what he endures during that time of transformation into that beautiful butterfly. 

A butterfly lays an egg on the leaf that the caterpillar can eat because as soon as it is born it must eat and it will not have the strength to travel. 

1.  When a butterfly lays an egg on a leaf, it is like a Christian leading a person to Christ. The Christian has stuck his egg on the leaf of the Word. 

Caterpillars need to eat and eat so they can grow quickly. When a caterpillar is born, they are extremely small. When they start eating, they instantly start growing and expanding.  Their exoskeleton (skin) does not stretch or grow, so they grow by “molting” (shedding the outgrown skin) several times while it grows.

2.  As Christians we must “eat” constantly from the Word of God. According to Romans 12:2 we must not conform to this world but rather our transformation begins with meditating on the Word. Over time we will “shed” our old mindsets as we put into practice what we learn.

Inside the cocoon, or chrysalis, the caterpillar changes into a pupa. In a process called histolysis, the caterpillar digests itself from the inside out, causing its body to die. During this partial death, some of the caterpillar’s old tissues are salvaged to form new. 

This remnant of cells are called the histoblasts and are used to create a new body. Using its digestive juices, the caterpillar turns his old larval body into food which he uses to rebuild its new body.

3.  This part of the process is when we are truly learning to die to ourselves so that we can be profitable for His kingdom

(Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ, Luke 9:23 If any come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross, Mark 8:35 save your life you lose it, John 12:24 unless a kernel of wheat die it abides alone) 

The old unnecessary things dissolve and we absorb the experiences into our vital limbs and organs that we will carry into our transformation into a butterfly.


Once the pupa has fully grown inside the cocoon, and the butterfly is ready to emerge, the insect releases a fluid which softens the shell. The butterfly pushes on the walls of the shell until it breaks open. The process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly can take anywhere from 10 days to several months.

4.  Notice that some butterflies emerge from their shells earlier than others. There’s no shame in the growth process, if we will let it take its course we will get to where we are supposed to be. Notice also that the butterfly must exert energy to push out of the shell. 

The energy given strengthens her wings so that she will be able to fly. The majority of butterflies must do this part of the process alone because of the benefit of the strength they gain, they can literally die if this part is skipped. 

How many Christians have died because of well-meaning people who tried to take their pain? Pain is a gift, pain brings compassion and growth. Pain draws us to dependency on God and not others. 

In rare instances if someone sees a butterfly about to die, it has stopped struggling because they were not successfully breaking out of the shell, you can make a small opening to help them get started, however, you must let them fight. 

If you help too much then they will not develop the strength they need to fly and function. They will lay outside that shell and die because they aren’t strong enough to fight their enemies, or feed, or fly. 

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