The Dark Night of the Spirit - Part Two
Minister Tracey L. Greendd
The Significance of The Cocoon
The Significance of The Cocoon
This is a dark and frightening time in the life of the believer, but it yields eternal rewards. Job was our model for learning – God blessed him and gave him double for his troubles! However, this is a necessary process as one pursues a relationship with God. He is the absolute standard of holiness and we must become transformed into His Image. I liken this transformative process to that of the cocoon and the butterfly. The word 'transformed' is the Greek word 'metamorphoo', which is where we get our word 'metamorphosis'. When we look at metamorphosis in nature, we can clearly see that it is a process that takes place over a period of time. The butterfly is a beautiful example of the process that it doesn't happen overnight.
Just as all caterpillars may not become butterflies, all believers may not choose to go through the process of having their old flesh and nature destroyed. The caterpillar crawls up a branch on its own “death walk” and attaches himself to a leaf through the spinning creation of a cocoon. There, he is protected from the elements which might destroy or hinder the process. The caterpillar had eaten to prepare for the next stage. Likewise, we must eat the Word of God and allow it to prepare us for the next process. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish Ephesians 5:26-27. Once he has spun the cocoon around himself, he can never go back to his old nature. The caterpillar is then brought to a place of total trust as he hangs on the leaf; trusting that the cocoon will not fall to the ground and that there is some benefit in this progressive work. The caterpillar then begins to go through a metamorphosis process in which his old nature will falls away and a new nature (the butterfly) emerges. The process within the cocoon is a “dark”, tedious, long process. The cocoon time is a “hidden” development. The caterpillar is resting in the cocoon stage. He had eaten and stored the nutrients needed for the process. While in this stage, it is at its most unattractive, frailest, quietest and most vulnerable stage of its life - in the very process of changing and developing. It can literally be destroyed during this process.
A New Perspective
Nevertheless, at the final stage, there is a process which takes and the butterfly will break forth fluttering everywhere. Even the breaking out must be done by the caterpillar. Any outside assistance can harm or destroy the caterpillar altogether! The breaking out process provides the caterpillar with the strength needed for the wings to fly. His point of view ascends to a “higher” perspective and is forever changed! The caterpillar has taken “his own death walk” as he crawled up that tree to embrace his new identity. God desires for us to be conformed as He is through this transformation process. Apostle Paul arrived to this conclusion in Philippians 3:7-10: But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
It is a long process and requires a willingness to die to our self-will and our way of thinking. But, He wants to completely transform us the way that we think and act! As long as our thoughts are our own, we will see the dark night of the soul and the dark night of the spirit as harsh places of punishment and judgment. We will all have our “Garden of Gethsemane” experience. God is desiring to bring us to a place of relationship and total trust. There we will come to see and know Him as He is. This is not a process produced by human hands, but one of unconditional surrender. The Holy Spirit will lead us as He did Jesus in Matthew 4. The Garden of Gethsemane was the place where Jesus wrestled to filtered out any and everything that would rise up to hinder his divine assignment. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. Matthew 26:42. He was human and divine, but He was able to bring His mind, body, and spirit into divine alignment to complete His mission on the earth during his “dark night” of transfiguration.
BridgeBuilders Ministries International of Grand Rapids, MI USA