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Worms and Wings


tobacco hornworm gobbling tomato leaves in my garden

If you’re a gardener, you may recognize this bane of the tomato world — the tomato  hornworm and its cousin, the tobacco hornworm.  They can devour a plant’s leaves, tiny stems, and, occasionally, green tomatoes in their ravenous march toward metamorphosis.  When the larva is fully grown, nearly four inches long, it will drop off the plant, burrow in the soil, and emerge in about two weeks as a sphinx moth.

These large moths are often mistaken for hummingbirds as they hover over flowers, feeding on nectar.  It’s an amazing transformation!

God is the author of metamorphoses of all kinds, and he is in the business of transforming us.

We are being changed to become more like him . . .

2 Corinthians 3:18 NIRV

We are asked to put off our old selves and put on the new. (Ephesians 4:22-24 and Colossians 3:9,10) There may not be an immediate transition to a life of

compassion , kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience  Colossians 3:12 NIV

but I see progress.

I’m looking forward to the final metamorphosis, too, when we trade in our old bodies for heavenly ones and are completely changed from the worm to the moth.

By his power he will change our earthly bodies. They will become like his glorious body.  Philippians 3:21 NIV

But until then I’m hoping to be a little less tomato-leaf-devouring worm and a little more nectar-drinking moth each day.  I know the metamorphosis itself is God’s work.  Taking off the old self and putting on the new imply some action, as does this verse:

. . . take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.  Ephesians 4:24 The Message

What is my part?

The light is fading as the sun sets, and my back is aching.  It’s time to quit writing for the day, leave the computer desk, and find a more comfortable seat.  I find myself drawn to my cozy chair in the living room with its bright reading lamp, and I’m thirsting/hungering for something cool and sweet.  I turn off the TV and hover over my Bible, finding these verses:

The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.  Exodus 16:31 NIV

Taste and see that the Lord is good;  Psalm 34:8

For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.  John 6:33  NIV

I am the bread of life.  John 6:48  NIV

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.  John 6:51 NIV

Jesus is the nectar, the sweet manna/bread.

photo by W.S. Crenshaw/Colorado State University

photo by W.S. Crenshaw/Colorado State University

I read and pray.  I taste and know that the Lord is good.

And that odd ache in my back?  I think I’m growing wings.

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