This spring, I visited a butterfly farm on an island in the Caribbean. I was intrigued with the four stages of development of this spectacular creative design of our God. The stages of its life cycle are the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the chrysalis (pupa), and butterfly (adult). Each stage of development is a vital part of this cycle. The Monarch butterfly is of special interest to me. I love the way God marked its chrysalis with a special series of golden gem-like dots that resembles a crown along the circumference. If you’ve ever read about the migration of the fourth generation Monarch butterfly, you know that they are the only insect that migrates annually to a warmer climate 2,500 miles away. The first, second, and third generation of monarchs only live about six weeks. They hatch, develop from larva to pupa to butterfly and then fly toward their goal as far as their lifespan will allow. The next generation picks up where the parent left off and continues with the mission. And so on. But the fourth generation makes a cross country trek that allows them to winter in Mexico. That makes them quite unique and very intuitive to the plan for their lives. As I reflect on this, I think back to how they must instinctively know how to follow that leading. They are wired to know to follow this leading. It’s as though they have a multi-generation life purpose.
I see this in the life of David, King of Israel. He had a goal of seeing the temple built and worked toward that goal, but God had plans for his son to follow in his footsteps and complete the mission. I also see this in families that have a legacy of ministers. It seems there is a transfer of anointing when the previous generation passes into eternity. The next generation often steps into the position or office of ministry that the previous member left vacant. The new generation moves the plan further along and with greater anointing. Not every plan of God can be completed in just one generation. He knows the bigger picture. He knows what He has in store for us from the beginning of time. Do you desire to respond and follow His plan for your life?
I find it interesting that there’s also a part of the life cycle that is a time of just “stopping everything” and settling down to be still and quiet while they undergo the marvelous metamorphosis. This is the chrysalis stage. They must go into the chrysalis after the last shedding of the old “skin” of the caterpillar life. They attach to the branch with a strong silk stem-like stick and writhe out in order to pupate. The chrysalis seems to me to be the most miraculous part of the butterfly’s life cycle, yet to the naked eye, nothing is happening. It’s just hanging onto the branch for such a long time if you consider how short its life is. But yet, this part of its life is so critical in its development.
Every one of us needs this phase of our life cycle. Maybe the time waiting for a request to be answered is vital to us as well. The Creator knows that without “Chrysalis time”, we may be vulnerable to attacks of predators if we launch out too early. Perhaps the time attached to the branch is a time of becoming more reliant on Him. Could He be helping us to be able to emerge as a changed person with greater abilities than we had before the secluded waiting time? Like the butterfly, perhaps the changes are taking place at a more rapid pace than we realize. Maybe if we’re patient for His timing, we’ll emerge out of this protective case and be able to stretch our wings and soar to heights we never imagined.
Maybe the waiting time is to get us ready for the new phase that we’re about to step into either in our personal lives, or in our spiritual calling. We don’t want to miss this phase or it might be detrimental to our development. We’re going to need all the strength that this exercise in patience will produce.
Isn’t it better to wait on the Lord’s timing than to skip an important phase of our development.
Philippians 4:19The Message (MSG)
19-20 You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.I’ll never understand how all of the life stages of a butterfly transpire, but I’m certain that each phase has an important part in its development. I can also be sure that if God took such good care with His plan for its life, He’s going to take good care with each stage of mine.