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Hidden Stages
by Renie Porter
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Hidden Stages
It seems to me that every day God reveals something new to me about Himself, something I didn't know before or at least had never really thought about. Too many days I miss it consciously, though hopefully I catch it in some recessed part of my brain. But I'm trying to become a lot more intentional, not just about paying attention, but actually asking Him for it.

Last week I was walking in the morning, something I'm happy to say I've been able to do with amazing committment and consistancy. It's a great time for me to listen to teaching I love, the podcasts from Bethel Church in Redding, CA, and to talk to the Lord. I was listening to a teaching by Bill Johnson, who rocks me with one profound revelation after another, and just happened to be looking at the ground in front of me in time to catch a small, hairy catapiller that looked like a tiny bottle brush, making his way across the street. It made me laugh out loud as I passed and then I stopped in my tracks pausing my podcast, as I remembered something Kris Valloton, also from Bethel, was teaching just the day before. He said that everything God created reveals something about his nature. So I said, "What does THAT reveal about your nature, Lord?" and continued around the end of the small cul-de-sac, listening. I heard the word "stages" and "hidden" and began to ponder what that meant. Wanting to get a closer look at that crazy little creation, just moments later I looked for him as I was passing back by that exact spot, but he was nowhere to be found, which was kind of odd. Anyway, I continued on, asking God to explain and here's what He told me.

He said that by design and very intentionally He creates things to go through various stages, each critical to the ones following and many in secret where no one sees. Caterpillars go through the egg to larvae stage, becoming caterpillers, and then chrysalis before becoming butterflies. Each stage is important in and of itself, and the caterpiller isn't missing his destiny as a butterfly when he's crawling along the ground, he's actually walking it out, or crawling it out, as it were. And who sees him when he's hidden in the chrysalis? I never see those hanging around. And yet he would never become a butterfly without it. At any point in the process he his perfect and exactly what he should be, even while becoming something else. And the fact that so much of it is hidden struck me because so much of our processing and growing is hidden from others and done in secret with God. Many times we feel alone and abandoned, or insignificant, but we never, ever are. He is right there with us in those solitary and sometimes painful stages, enjoying us and helping us until we emerge into the very public one of flying around beautifully as a butterfy, with everyone enjoing our grace and beauty.

It was so fun that while all this was going through my brain a gorgeous, bright yellow butterfly came along side of me, flying in circles, almost like a glorious dance beside me as I walked. I laughed again with delight. Sometimes I see what the Bill Johnsons or Kris Vallotons of the world are doing and I'm in awe. They give me so much by the life they pour out and I admire them so much, but at the same time it can make me feel like I should be doing more, should BE so much more. It was so precious of God to remind me of the way He thinks, and the way He designs His creation so that I understand that where I am right now, and at any given moment in time, is just right. Being on my way to something else is the bonus, but right here in this place is perfect, especially because I'm in it with Him. And every Bill Johnson, or Billy Graham, or Mother Theresa out there spent their dark days inside that pupa waiting to emerge with wings. So did every other spiritual giant or father or mother of the faith who don't have a name a million people know. The One set of Glorious Eyes on them admiring their beauty and growth is enough.

Another thing that especially has me in awe is this. That I asked a simple question and He gave me an amazing answer. The Creator of all things answers personal questions like this because He loves to reveal Himself to me, wants more than anything to be known by me, and intimate with me. Wow. Day by day now I ask. And I can tell He loves it by His answers. Stunning.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Renie Porter 07 Jan 2012


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