Of Butterflies and Sin

The narrow gate has a narrow path.  I have entered the gate by grace through faith in Christ. And I am walking hand in hand with God on that path toward the King’s City. (Matt 7:13-14, Eph 2:8-10, John 14:1, Hebrews 11:13-16)

I am a child and He is my Father. (Romans 8:15)

I am delighting in Him as we walk together, talk together, and He shows me His ways.  I am not walking perfectly but that does not concern Him.  I am walking purposefully with Him and He helps me to step over the obstacles in our path.  We are not hurried, and I’m not worried about what’s next.  When I am in need of food, or shelter, or sleep, He supplies exactly what I need – nothing more and nothing less. I am content, but I am a child. (Psalm 37:23-26, 1 John 2)butterfly

Suddenly a beautiful butterfly flutters directly in front of me. (2 Cor 11:3,14)  It catches my attention as it zigs and zags.  I find my eyes are now focused on it.  I’ve stopped and I watch it as it moves off of the path.  I subconsciously realize that my attention is no longer on Him nor the path.  But I’m not concerned.  I want to catch that butterfly.  I want to hold it and make it mine. (1 John 2:16, James 1:13-15)

So I let go of His hand and pursue it.  Not for a second stopping to ask Him his thoughts on the matters. It’s only a few feet off of the path – nothing bad can happen.  I can easily return.  If flutters a little farther away each time I reach for it.  Oh I was so close, I can get this!  A little farther- just missed.   I imagine I’m only a short distance off of the path, but I don’t bother to stop and look. I’m too mesmerized by this butterfly, and at this point I’m committed.  (Psalm 119:176)

Finally I catch it.  Immediately I realize the feeling of emptiness.   Not really as exciting or fulfilling as I thought it would be. (Job 15:31)

I look around.  Fear and guilt begin to reveal themselves.

What have I done?

What shall I do?

“Father? Return to me,” I call. Again I cry out – this time with more desperation.  “Father? Where are you?” The realization of what I’ve done and what has occurred sets in.   He has not left me, I have left Him and now I’m hopelessly lost. (Zechariah 1:3-4)

I look to the left and to the right.  Is it this way?  Maybe it’s that way?  There is no discernible path back to Him.

Breathe.  I’ve been here before.  Let this not be like past times when I’ve wandered.  Carving a path that I was certain would lead back to Him only to find that what it led to was more serious trouble. I can’t do this in my own strength or by my own wisdom.  (Proverbs 14:12)

Oh that I would seek wisdom before moving any farther.  (Proverbs 4:7)

“Father, forgive me. (Micah 7:18)  Help me. I have wandered from you.  But I seek to return.  Have mercy,” I pray. (1 John 1:9)  Immediately I hear His voice.  Faint at first but no doubt it is Him.  It is getting louder.  I see a light shining on the ground before me. (Psalm 119:105)  I continue listening for His voice and instructions as He guides me.

There it is – the narrow path.  “Father?”

“Michael!”

I turn.

“Father!”

“Come quickly child.  Follow me. We have work to do.”  (Matt 28:16-20)

Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.

© 2016 Michael Martin

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