I’ve had the privilege over the summer of watching over 300 Monarch caterpillars find their wings and take flight into the wide open spaces and the beautiful skies of blue. What a delight to see the caterpillar’s flat-out confinement to milkweed resulting in gorgeous, orange wings to finally and at last rise above the weeds soaring to new heights with new life!
Enjoy this video of one of those miracle moments. A journey accompanied by the Song “Journey” by Steven Curtis Chapman from his album “Speechless.” Photography and movie by K’s Photography at https://www.facebook.com/AllofCreation/ Join me there on facebook.
Milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch butterfly and the only food for the caterpillar as it munches it’s way to wings!
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
I’ve been raising Monarchs this season and finding it a delightful past time. This is the first one to emerge from it’s snug chrysalis where it made it’s amazing transformation from Caterpillar to wings. It’s been a beautiful journey so far with these amazing creations that God has given to grace our world.
So a few hours later our first hatchling from the chrysalis was taken outside to dry in the soft breeze. The breeze caught his wings and he took off in a first, unsteady flight and flew right into a spider web. How disappointing and distressing to watch it go down but at the same time, it was a wonderful feeling to come to his rescue. So, carefully loosening him free from the web and brushing off the sticky silk from his feet and face, we ventured over to the butterfly bush where he hid under a few leaves and spent many more hours on sweet, nectar flowers! Later in the day, it was a delight to see him in brilliant, beautiful flight and freedom. No more crawling on the milkweed, but now soaring in the wind with beautiful grace!
What a spectacular journey and transformation from caterpillar to butterfly and yet his unsteady wings of freedom, weren’t even enough. They quickly ushered him into trouble and landed him smack dab in the middle of a dreadful and invisible web of deception. He wasn’t strong enough yet to fight it on his own and without human rescue, he wouldn’t have made it. He would have had to succumb to the entrapment of the deadly web and all just after gaining a new freedom. It makes me wonder how anything survives on it’s own in the wild! It’s also a good reminder of how we need a Saviour to rescue us from the dreadful web of sin. Our unsteady wings of freedom lead us quickly into invisible webs of trouble to quickly entangle us and without a Sovereign God, who is rich in mercy and grace coming to our aid to free us with His awesome and amazing plan of salvation, we too, are entrapped before we ever begin our life journey! We sit wrapped in the sticky pleasures of our selfish desires without any hope of escape! Praise God, He made a way for us to be set free through Christ who came to our rescue! Through the cross, the shed blood and His divine, glorious resurrection and transformation, we too, can be set free in beautiful flight when we seek Him and ask his forgiveness.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Last summer I became intrigued with the beauty of the Monarch butterfly and for a few short months, I had the privilege of raising a few, watching them undergo their amazing transformation from tiny, pearl egg deposited on the Milkweed to caterpillar and onto the gorgeous chrysalis of green/blue trimmed with gold. Oh how beautiful was this to watch and breathtaking to see the actual wings unfold. The experience was one like no other, and other than the distinct awe and miracle of giving birth to my own children or aiding our little, furry dogs through the birth experience, this Monarch event totally consumed my emotions. However it didn’t come without hitches and glitches. It didn’t come without trouble and sadness and disappointment. But it did come with lessons as I watched one particular caterpillar make his journey. Keep in mind this was a new found hobby and as anything new takes a little knowledge, so did this experience.
I didn’t know what I was doing other than jumping into the milkweed patch head first and hoping to eventually find wings at a later stage in the progression. Let me take you back to that day ~ when I thought my wings would never unfold and for sure would never fly.
He was a cute, little thing probably at 3rd star development. I didn’t know he was there, on the milkweed flowers stationed on my cupboard in the flower vase. That is, until he got big enough to be visible to my dim eyesight. Oh he was beautifully put together with the distinct marking of the Monarch caterpillar. What fun it would be to watch his miracle unfold right before my eyes. He munched happily away until one day he didn’t! He lost zest, energy and to my human eyes he lost life. He didn’t eat for a day or night and could barely hold on to a leaf because of weakness. Disappointing? Yes!! Here I was waiting in anticipation, pumped and eager to watch a beautiful transformation from grub to butterfly over the weeks to come, but today, there was no question in my mind that he was dying, and would be lifeless when I returned home. Whatever had happened, I didn’t know! I left the house feeling like a kid that had just lost a pet turtle and sadness ripped and tugged at my heart. Upon my return, my first stop was to his box to see a lifeless form but instead I noticed a piece of him! What on earth was going on? It looked like a face mask, laying on a leaf and he was munching away happily on a fresh milkweed leaf just as he had been a couple of days earlier. To this bewildered caterpillar raiser, it was mind boggling really! Totally an amazing thing to see! I knew they shed their layers to make room for new growth, but I didn’t know the particulars of how it happened. They say ignorance is bliss but it wasn’t in the early moments of that day. A little understanding would have saved me from heaps of disappointment.
I watched a number of caterpillars form a gorgeous chrysalis and emerge with beautiful wings over the summer. There were other issues to deal with, but most were healthy and I;m in hopeful anticipation of next spring when the fresh milkweed will flower in their beautiful, pink blooms once again, attracting the Monarchs to lay their most gorgeous, beautiful eggs. I’ve planted a couple of plants in my own butterfly garden and hope to have some enthusiastic visitors drop by to provide me with some more Monarch adventures over the season. Maybe next time I’ll have a little more understanding and a bigger success rate.
It’s God’s perfect plan for the caterpillar to shed a little of himself to allow for new growth but he has to almost die first to live again. Let’s understand something for our own lives here to keep disappointment from mounting to uncontrollable heights. Think with me, of our spiritual lives and how, as we mature in Christ, the old has to fall away bit by bit as the new life in Christ becomes more evident. It might not be an easy time and we may feel that all zest and life are gone from us as we undergo loss and sometimes severe loss. It might be a very difficult time of pain for others who look on to see suffering! In reality it’s just another step in the direction of that amazing transformation for new life! Understand this, that in God’s scheme of things, it’s in the difficult places that we grow and ultimately emerge with the beautiful wings of grace! It’s in the difficult places where the blessings flow! Next time the battle rages remember the caterpillar. From a flat out grub crawling on the ground to near death, new skin, new life and ultimately on to beautiful, soaring wings. Such amazing, miraculous growth doesn’t happen in a day or overnight. It’s a gradual progression that takes time. Be patient, with yourself and loved ones. Persevere and press on for your miracle. Take heart my friend!
Your wings await!