Surely you’ve heard of sericulture? Of course you have. It’s the process whereby one harvests silk. From silkworms. A major industry in Ancient China. It brings up an interesting point, though. It would seem, in the case of the lowly silkworm, that the best part of life is the production to be had prior to emerging from the cocoon–or even entering it for that matter. The silkworm does not turn into a butterfly (it turns into a moth) but it does go through the same process. And silkworm farmers will kill the moths prior to hatching as the full-grown moths will in turn devour the fresh silk threads. There are all sorts of analogies to be had here. Some are amazing and fit and others, because life is more than simply analogy (and simple analogy), only go so high. Real quick, the main staple of the silkworm diet–really, the only thing they’ll eat–is mulberry leaves. Who knew?
It means “of, or pertaining to the mulberry”. To continue with the silkworm analogy, I have to say, if there’s one thing I could eat everyday for the rest of my life, it’d have to be probably blueberries (because you can’t eat coffee). And as I don’t have access to blueberries year-round, I have to be content with a varied diet (you can’t harvest silk all year either). Thank God, because even shortly out of season (before or after), they get pretty expensive as far as fruit goes. But I do love my blueberries. Spiritually though, you can’t sustain yourself with anything else but the Word of God. Jesus, in speaking to the disciples after meeting up with Him at Jacob’s well in Samaria, tells them “I have meat (food) to eat that ye know not of.” (John 4:32) As Jesus is the living Word of God, that is an understatement (if I may). We have the same source as did He to become whatever He thought we should when He made us. It’s the Word of God that builds and sustains us. So by all means, ingest!
“As newborn babies, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” (1 Peter 2:2-3)
A quick side note. The prefix ser– refers to “serum”. When milk begins to curdle on its way to becoming cheese, the…milky (for lack of a better term) substance left over is whey, also known as serum. Paul, in building on what Peter just said, talks about moving on from drinking only milk to having meat (literally): “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” He tells the Corinthians why in the next verse. “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Corinthians 3:2-3) He goes on to list the various things they were doing in dividing up among themselves and calling each other after other (probably very intense) people and not Jesus Himself. You can’t escape the simplicity and power that comes from following Jesus for yourself and in turn coming together to do greater things. As Jesus followed His Father, we follow Him. And we have the Holy Spirit who maintains and upholds and facilitates the Body of Christ.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. O fear the Lord, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him.” (Psalm 34:8-9)
Everything flows back to God. I find that the butterfly/cocoon analogy is somewhat misleading. If all we want to do is become something at some point in the future to the neglect of God now, we’ll never catch sight of the path He’s laid out for us. Jesus says “straight is the gate and narrow is the way” (Matthew 7:14). While that is as true as it gets, it’s our faulty opinions that say that somehow it won’t be fun and exciting and fulfilling. Those are lies, plain and simple. Even in the cocoon, there is laid out for us a path of beauty and purpose and peace and joy. It might be harder to mine for and dredge up because you’re more than likely treading new territory for God, but because of what Jesus did, it’s there waiting for you. Just ask.
Returning our investment
Think about what you can do for God wherever you’re at. If you dream about having all the money in the world and how generous you’d be with it, prove to God how generous you can be now. Time. Attention. The fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). Silk. All of these things are gifts to be used for God’s service. They flow through us to in turn bless others. You can be sure as you give what you’re able, it’ll scale and scale and appreciate and exponentially increase. Just be sure to keep your focus trained on God and in the lessons He teaches you by the Holy Spirit through His Word.
“Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put on thee, saith the Lord.” (Ezekiel 16:13-14) Beautiful as all that is, the rest of the chapter reads like a tragedy because it only goes downhill. “But thou didst trust in thine own beauty…” (16:15a) I find this cycle repeats itself over and over and all God is looking for is for us to keep our vision trained on Him even as He showers us with blessings.