It’s disconcerting sometimes to reflect back to times in my life when I acted ugly.And if I’m honest, I usually don’t have to reflect back that far.
Here’s the kicker—the real pulsing point I want you to take away today: At any given moment we have a choice to step out of the ugly. To repent and leave it in the past.For animals this process is called molting. It represents a time of shedding. Hair. Skin. Horns. Shells. Feathers. All of it—off. Left.
Why does this occur?It allows the animal to grow and mature in a healthy way. Often molting takes place in order to discard old or damaged hair, feathers, etc.
I also read that for many species there’s an initial resting and preparation stage the animal lives through before the discarding begins.
All of the above details remind me of spiritual molting.Whole shells get cracked and split down the middle. (You know what else was split down the middle? The curtain in the temple as Jesus died for us.) Here’s another tidbit worth paying attention to? The animal doesn’t take the sloughed off part with them. They don’t gather it, and tuck it in a pouch, or carry it on their head. They don’t collect a rack of horns so they’ll have more to fight with next time. They leave it.
And this is exactly what God calls us to do as we allow Him to sanctify us.Some ugly that I used to know is not still with me now. It’s not me now. Even if the ugly was part of me yesterday, it doesn’t define me today. It no longer has the grip on me it used to.
Old is gone.Why does this matter?
Because I witness so many people torturing themselves as they go through the cycle. What cycle, you might be wondering. The cycle of hurt, anger, and lashing out. The cycle of clinging to the ugly. It’s familiar. Living as a victim garners attention. If I massage this hurt it will remind me to keep my guard up, never trust again—it will make me feel some sense of power. It will give me a right to feel angry. Forever angry.Unforgiveness and unresolved feelings are like carrying around skin that we were supposed to shed. Eventually, the skin will discolor and likely cause some sort of infection. And most certainly, if we’re clinging to the old we won’t be able to grow new.
Okay, I must stop here to exalt God. How cool that He created everyday lessons for us in nature.One last detail…In this article about birds molting their feathers, I read: “Since feathers cannot heal themselves when damaged, they have to be completely replaced.”
So the question of the hour is… do you want to get well? Do you trust God in the spiritual molting of your life?
*I love it when God really starts stirring. I had most of this post written before church service on Sunday. And what did our guest pastor speak on? You guessed it—John 5 “When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’” Amen & Amen.
*photo by stock.XCHNG