Back when I taught second grade, we did a science unit on life-cycles every spring. One of the projects we did was observing Painted Lady caterpillars develop into butterflies. The process always amazed me, no matter how often I observed it.
The caterpillars came in a clear cup which was covered with filter paper. They would eat and eat and eat. Then eventually, they would climb to the top of the cup and suspend themselves from the paper. There they would form into chrysalises. Once this process was complete for all of the caterpillars, the filter would carefully be removed from the rim of the cup and fastened to the top of a butterfly house where they would remain until they emerged as butterflies.
To tell you the truth, moving them always made me a bit nervous. They seemed so fragile, hanging there, suspended by seemingly nothing. I would catch myself holding my breath as I would watch them sway. Would they stay suspended or would they fall? They always stayed except for once.
I had been out for a few days and during that time, one of the chrysalis had fallen. I was concerned for they needed to be hanging but as there was some movement detected, the children begged me to let it be. I did.
A few days later, the butterflies began to emerge, including the one that had not been suspended. Whew! It was going to be okay. Hmm...
Then, a bit later, I noticed something unusual. One of the wings of the butterfly which had not been suspended was not opening up and expanding properly. Uh-oh. This butterfly couldn't fly. Desperately it flapped one good wing and struggled to expand the other but it was no use. We hoped it just needed a bit more time but no. The wing would not expand.
Being "suspended" can be rather scary. Instinctively we start to kick and pull, trying to get our feet back onto firm ground. The problem is that in order to become strong in the Lord and "fly", He must allow us to be "suspended" in Him.
There will be times when we will feel exactly like that. We will feel like we are hanging by the skin of our teeth and the least little move will cause us to come crashing down on the rocks below. We wonder what on earth God is doing. Why is He allowing us to "hang" like this?
The answer is simple. He wants to transform us and make us strong so we can fly and the way that happens is to be suspended on Him.