One of the benefits of grandchildren is that their presence allows the grandparent to act like a kid again. I took full advantage of this recently when I discovered tadpoles in a muddy pool of water in the woods. I found a discarded cup (the only time I’ve been thankful for a litterbug) and scooped up some of the wriggly black little things to bring back home. Over the next days grandpa and grandma and the two grandchildren hovered over the container of tadpoles, watching them grow hind legs, then front legs.
There came the day we were pleasantly surprised to see several of them clinging to the side of the container just above the surface of the water. They no longer were getting oxygen from the water through gills but from the air using newly developed lungs. Within a day their tails that they used for swimming as tadpoles had been absorbed back into their bodies.
The accompanying photo is of one of the frogs with the metamorphosis nearly complete, though he is only about the size of a pencil eraser (I used a couple of close-up lenses and then cropped the photo down, enlarging the image of the frog).
I may be a grandpa, but I still have the amazement of a child as I observed the miraculous process of metamorphosis. I can’t really grasp the amount of change that takes place to turn a tadpole into a frog or toad – legs suddenly appearing, gills going and lungs being launched, tail disappearing, and mouth being transformed from a small sucker shape to a broad opening.
The creator/sustainer of the amphibious creatures of the mud hole and pond is also our creator/sustainer. A reading of the Bible shows clearly that His intention is that we too go through a process of metamorphosis. The apostle Paul wrote, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) Paul wrote in Greek, and the word for “transformed” that he used was metamorphousthe, which obviously is a variation on metamorphosis.
Moving more in line with God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will for us depends on a willingness on our part to change our thinking, to being open to a better way for ourselves, admitting that we are not all that we can be or should be. This side of heaven we’re not to be satisfied with the way we are but to always be changing for the better, to be more like the Lord envisions we can be. Everything that we experience, everything that we deal with, including all the hurts, setbacks, and problems we face, can make us a better person, the person God wants us to be, more like Jesus, who we’re to follow. This metamorphosis can happen if we approach it as Paul said, with the right mind-set, the right attitude.
The tadpole that miraculously transforms into a toad or frog is a reminder of what God wants to do with us. We’re to be an ongoing miracle of metamorphosis!
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)