If you have read the series "The Chronicles of Narnia", by C. S. Lewis, you might remember the boy Eustace who finds his troubles escalating due to a series of bad choices, bad attitudes, and difficult circumstances. In his misery he awakens to discover that he is wearing the skin of a dragon.
He rather enjoyed it at first – thinking of ways he could exert his new power to terrorize the ones whom he had perceived as his enemies. But then his appearance and dragon-appetites disgusted him, and he found himself trapped in the crusty skin of his reality.
My thought at this point in the story was, "A-ha, justice is served!" But one can't help sympathize with him eventually because of his remorse and hopelessness. His entire condition sickened him, and reduced him to depression, loneliness and tears.
Remember Aslan, the Lion?
In response to Eustace's plight, the mighty Lion comes to him and begins cutting away the dragon skin with his claws - something Eustace had tried to do himself, but couldn't succeed. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend!" Though causing intense pain... well, I've already told too much if you haven't read it yet.
I used the word metamorphosis to describe the "becoming" that I am going through right now (in a March ‘08 post). It displays a picture of a cocoon in my mind, with a butterfly inside, struggling to get free of it. The comfortable home has become a hardened, crusty cage. Things were good for so long, but now it's all useless (Eustace's nickname was "useless").
Do I need the wonderful Lion to come and scratch me out of my cage-coon? I don’t think that’s going to happen. I understand that in the case of a cocoon, the butterfly has to do it herself – or she’ll be handicapped all through life (if she survives).
Okay, Lord, I’ll keep cutting away at what is no longer necessary.
I don’t want to be useless.