Friday, August 3, 2018

Intentionally Finding the Shadows

Psalm 91:4  "He will cover you with His pinions and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark. 

Many of you know I planted a butterfly garden a few years back in my son's memory, but even more so for God's glory and inspiration. I frequently take pictures and post them, capturing the Monarch in his life cycle. The milkweed plant I added to the garden last year draws the butterflies in as they drink from the nectar of the flower and lay their eggs on the leaves. I've watched many caterpillars grow larger in their diligence of eating the leaves in preparation for their next life. Purchasing a butterfly tent, one lucky fellow emerged from his chrysalis inside my home. Though I missed the event, he graced me with the experience of holding him and setting him (or her) free, back into the garden.

So, I thought I'd try it again, and bring a chrysalis inside. This one never emerged. 

That happens. As I've been reading, not all caterpillars make it, get to actually become the Monarch they were meant to be. They didn't consume enough,  get fat enough, have the strength inside the chrysalis to complete the transformation. They just were not equipped for the change about to come. 

Oh, how I can relate to that scenario...

With all the numerous Monarchs gracing my yard at any given moment, one would think I have a ton of caterpillars as well. I watch for them, but those too, fight to survive. Wasps seem to also enjoy the Milkweed plant, as well as ladybugs. The eggs get consumed. The strong and/or the purposed find their way to survival. I see that the leaves are munched on and I have faith that the caterpillars, one by one as I locate them, will continue to thrive. I may find 2 or 3, sometimes as many as 10...and then suddenly, they are gone.

Where did they go?  

It is their time. They find a quiet place, away from the milkweed and search for the perfect spot in which to grow and change. Like a baby being fed, they are ready to take on solid food so to speak, their purpose, discover their destiny and true beauty after a season of survival and grace. Why stay a baby? There is so much more!  It's in their DNA!  They don't fight it, it is what is to be!

I have found the chrysalis in many places, some totally outside of the butterfly garden.  On a thorny rose stem, under the lip of a pot, attached to a cross beam of a fence, the bright green chrysalis hangs and waits.

This week, something very cool happened. I spotted a chrysalis hanging from another butterfly! Across from the butterfly garden is a pot with some newly planted Plumeria beginning to sprout. Also,  stuck inside this terra cotta pot, two garden stakes, one purple and one traditional colors of the Monarch. This caterpillar crawled across the warm sidewalk, up the pot, into the dirt and up the stake to the wing of something he recognized, a glimpse of His own image to come. Why wouldn't he want to do his transforming under the wings of this great one?

When showing my friend who came to visit, he said, "Wow, that took a lot of effort to get there." It does seem intentional, doesn't it?

Let me ask the effort worth it? To crawl, run, curl up, reach for, embrace yourself in the Wings of our Maker? He is the One who created you in His image and for His purposes. Do you want to just stay a baby, hoping for more milk while battling the wasps of this world who so easily carry us away, the carnivores who consume our time and leave us hopeless, drained of life?

As for me, I choose, very intentionally, to be under the shadow of His wings, for there is where I find grace, purpose, beauty in the transformation and hope. Every inch of getting there and the detours...even the hardest and darkest of places to get through-- are all worth the victory today and into eternity.

Thank you Lord, that I can see Your intention for me, Your direction, Your will. Though rust and moths, disease and disrespect,  rejection and hurt,  insecurities and disappointment want to discourage along the way, I know that Truth stands tall and I have my eyes on You. Help me, help us Lord, everyday to be intentional in our worship and in our lives to reflect all You created us to be and thank You that I can find rest under Your wings, all for Your Glory, Amen

My Savior's Shadow ~ Blake Shelton 


  1. Just wow! I was very moved by the story of the butterfly growing beneath the fake butterfly. An awesome analogy.

  2. The symbolism in the transformation of the caterpillar into the butterfly applies perfectly to our spiritual life. What a moving post! Thanks for sharing my friend.

  3. I think my favorite part is how the chrysalis are found in different places and some outside the butterfly garden. This reminds me to be thankful for where God has me and accept how, when and where He has chosen to grow me. Love this Coleene!

  4. I am at awe of how God uses nature to teach us the very nature and character of himself. Two things saddened me this summer watching my own butterflies. Like yours, two of mine made their journey to a chrysalis and never emerged. They were taken from the location they thought would make an ideal attachment place. The other was several caterpillars that scummed to the heat of this world. They are delicate, like the delicacies of our heart. They are intentional in what they eat, where they travel to, and as they transform into a new creation God designed them to be. Love, Love, Love how you shared this story of intentionality. I need to be more intentional. Love you my friend.