What you are about to read is scientifically inexplicable. Try as they may, no one can figure it out.
I gingerly placed my freshly hatched Monarch in its beautiful glass terrarium out onto the table on the back patio so that it could freely take to the sky when it was ready. And much to my delight and sadness, amazingly, it did just that. Off it went, with trust and instinct, all that it needed to get it to where it needed to go to fulfill its purpose in life.
The Eastern Migrating Monarch (Danaus Plexippus) is an anomaly in nature. As stated, it goes through several changes to reach the Imago stage of mature adulthood: egg to caterpillar to pupa to butterfly--each stage of development having the identical DNA as the one before.
It takes three generations of butterflies to migrate from Mexico to Canada. Each generation living about four to six weeks, going through the exact same life cycle again and again.
But here is the mind-boggling part. The fourth generation Monarch butterfly—identical in DNA to the previous three generations—flies all the way from Canada to Mexico by itself, living upward of nine months, traveling up to two miles high and averaging 200 miles per day. The Monarch travels over 1,500 miles, occasionally getting blown off course as far as Bermuda, and yet, still is able to find its way back to the exact same 60-mile-radius fir tree forest that its ancestors inhabited four generations prior.
How does the Monarch do it? Not with its own strength! Despite the name, a butterfly is not really designed to fly—but rather to soar! They are built like gliders with small bodies and huge wingspans.
To go the distance, the butterfly rides on the wind currents allowing them to take it further and higher than it could ever go on its own.
In the Bible, the Greek word pneuma and the Hebrew word ruach mean “wind, spirit, and breath.” It could be said that these little creatures soar on the breath of God!
What can we draw from this? Here is the secret: don’t live in your own strength! You, too, can soar on the breath of God. How? By being filled with the Holy Spirit, learning the prayer of praise, and forever turning your heart upward in gratitude.
For all of this to come about, the caterpillar had to be willing to be transformed—are you? The butterfly also had to trust that the wind currents would eventually lead it home, it had to have courage to follow its heart, even though every inch the Monarch was covering was new territory.
I get so inspired when I think of the butterfly so bravely heading out to the great unknown on a wing and a prayer.
When I feel God is asking something of me that is beyond my personal ability, I think of the butterfly. I know that if God intends for it to take place, even if it seems impossible in human terms, I need only to trust and be filled with God's spirit. God will make it come to pass.
How do we know that the Monarch does not do this with its own strength? We know because of this surprising fact: the butterfly actually weighs more when it gets to Mexico than it did when it left Canada! Amazing, but true. The Monarch will need its fat stores to live from as it over winters in Mexico.
Did you know this about the prayer of praise? As you praise God, lifting up your voice to Him in singing and reading spiritual accolades to Him, you actually gain more than you give out! Not only are you giving homage to God, His spirit is filling you up to overflowing. And when you are grateful for all God has done for you, you are humbly acknowledging your total dependance on Him.
So let it out! Shout to the Lord! Read a Psalm aloud or turn on praise music and belt it out! Not because your circumstances or this world is perfect, but because God is! God alone is worthy of our praise. And, as you do it, your heart will be lifted to new heights with Him, your atmosphere will change from one of negativity to unending joy and you will leave this earth and all that entangles you behind! So be grateful! Praise! And SING! SING! SING! All the way to heaven!
Why? Because you were born to soar!
Praise God in his holy sanctuary;
give praise in the mighty dome of heaven.
Give praise for His mighty deeds,
praise Him for his great majesty.
Give praise with blasts upon the horn,
praise Him with harp and lyre.
Give praise with tambourines and dance,
praise Him with strings and pipes.
Give praise with crashing cymbals,
praise Him with sounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath
give praise to the LORD!
Hallelujah!” Psalm 150: 1-6
Oh help me! My heart is heavy. I am not in the mood to praise. I am alone, afraid and feeling overwhelmed by all that lies ahead of me. Lord, I need to rise above my circumstances and take to the sky in praise. Help me Lord to be thankful for even the littlest things so that I can begin my journey to ride on Your updrafts of praise and thankfulness. Help me to turn my gaze heavenward as well as my heart, my mouth, my mind and my attitude! Jesus I trust in You to get me there! YOU are the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE! You are my roadmap to heaven. By Your grace...take me--I am Yours.