Recently I was having a conversation with a friend. She was going through some very difficult trials and was wondering if the source of her trials was just natural occurrences, the enemy or trials from the Lord. This really got me thinking. I am not so sure that the source of our trials is all that important. What is most important is our response to trials. Also, when we go through hardship in life, we can assume it is the enemy trying to prevent us from doing something God wants us to do. God however is not so much concerned with the things we end up doing as he is interested in who we become. His main goal for each one of us is to transform us into the image of Christ and to perfect us in love. Sometimes this is best accomplished through the trials of life that he allows. When we choose to join our trials and sufferings to the cross of Christ then his will for us is always accomplished; we are transformed more fully into the image of Christ and love wins. When we are transformed and perfected in love, we can not help but have a positive impact on others and advance the Kingdom. Even if it was the devil trying to thwart God's plans, he never wins.
There are times in our life when we might deliberately or unknowingly take a detour and find ourselves on the wrong path in life. If we repent and get back on the right path, nothing is wasted. "All things work for the good of those who love God." - Romans 8:28. He can use whatever repentant sins, mistakes, or circumstances we find ourselves in for a greater good and our transformation.
We are all at different stages in our walk with the Lord and transformation. If we compare this process with the life span of a butterfly, some of us are in the larvae stage, some caterpillars, some are resting in a cocoon of grace, some Monarch butterflies and so on. Recently I was in prayer and I saw a vision of a beautiful, almost metallic blue butterfly and I felt like the Lord said, "Seek to become the most beautiful of butterflies." I actually Googled, "most beautiful butterfly" and a metallic blue butterfly was the first and most common one that came up. I was then reminded of a vision I had once of the Blessed Mother. She was dressed in the same color blue. She had twinkling lights all over her cloak and these twinkling lights were coming off her mantle and turning into butterflies that were the same color blue. She was taking great delight in these butterflies as they were flying around her and landing on her finger. It then occurred to me that Mary's blue mantle/cloak might actually represent the Holy Spirit and the twinkling lights, the potential of what men can become. In Luke 1:35, the Angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will conceive Jesus when the Holy Spirit overshadows her. It would make sense that in her glorified state, the Holy Spirit would continue to overshadow her. We are called to clothe ourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27, Romans 13:14). When we hide ourselves under Mary's mantle, we are really clothing ourselves with Christ through the Holy Spirit. Of course this is not the only way but I am thinking it might be the quickest and easiest way. Mary is the crown of creation! She is the perfect example of who we are to become like! It doesn't hurt to look towards and imitate her. She especially is clothed with Christ and the Holy Spirit. When we place ourselves under her mantle and allow ourselves to be clothed with the Holy Spirit, Christ is conceived in us and transforms us from the inside out. Through our sacrifices of love joined to the cross of Christ, let us allow God's grace through the Holy Spirit to form us more completely into his beautiful image!