for all of us chasing yellow butterflies into fall

Each year I feel such bittersweet emotions as I watch summer fade slowly into fall. It’s almost as if this time brings good-bye to a stage or season, not only on the calendar, but also in our lives.

This summer brought many memories for our family to treasure. Perhaps it did for your family as well. And, each week as August rolled into September, I noticed more and more of those rare jewels that have come to signify the change of our seasons.

Our area of the world is blessed each year in late August to be overcome by the most beautiful creature – the yellow butterfly.  I have come to realize over the years, that when you see these exquisite beauties floating by, you can rest assured summer is quickly passing.

I have often wondered about them. Where are they coming from? Where exactly are they  going? And, yes, how can their timing be so consistent year after year?

This year I decided to stop wondering and just Google them. I wish I had done so sooner. I have a much greater appreciation for them now.

You see, these delicate creatures can travel thousands of miles this time of the year. Some from as far north as Canada as they migrate toward warmer weather.

According to one article I read, they normally travel no more than twelve miles per day. Males tend to hurry toward a warmer, winter destination while females take a more leisurely approach. Perhaps to save some energy for egg-laying. Most normally don’t take time to stop and eat, but rather stay on course for their destination.

The most interesting fact I found was this — they use the sun to keep them on course for this long journey.

I have loved seeing them, but after learning more about them I see so many parallels in their journey to our own lives.

Really, we are on a journey, too.

Weaving our way through the obstacles, changes and beauty of this world to a resting place of our own one day.

Like these yellow butterflies, we too were created exquisitely with thought to every detail for our plan in life. It’s so hard to believe that our heavenly Father would take the time to create such beautiful, delicate butterflies, but now to know and better understand how he purposes their journey so specifically is truly amazing.

They know when to migrate. They follow the sun to stay on course. And, yes, they don’t often tarry.

And to think, we often forget that He is planning and watching over our journey as well.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” {Matthew 6:26}

Well, now that I know the details of these butterflies, I can’t help but think how much more delicate than even birds they seem. Yet, even for these tiny, fragile creatures, He still has a beautiful plan. And, yes, we are more valuable than they are, friends.

We must not forget the actual metamorphosis they each go through. A complete change.

Often in life, we too experience this. Especially after we have come to know the Father. Sometimes it happens during a moment of great joy, but often, this change happens in some of the most broken, difficult times in our lives. However and whenever it happens, finding Him through the change is all that matters. And, He is always there. Patiently waiting. Longing for us to draw near to Him and become completely His.

To be touched by the same Creator who numbers the stars and creates beautiful, delicate, yellow butterflies to welcome our fall each year really is life-changing.

And, to think that these delicate creatures know to follow the sun to stay on course for their journey.

As should we follow the Son for our journey.

There are many paths and directions our lives can take, but unless we keep our focus on Jesus, we may never find our way home. Without the light of His mercy and grace our journey could become so off course that we might never find a way back to the perfect plan He has for each of us.

I know, we know these things, but do we really believe them? And, live as if we do?

The Son. He really is our only hope as we sail through this life of twists and turns and bumps and bruises and the only one who can keep us on course.

And, those yellow butterflies, they shine when you see them! You can’t miss them. They. Are. Everywhere.

Isn’t that how we as Christians should be?

Shouldn’t our light shine for others to see?

Shouldn’t others see us everywhere?

Loving, serving, encouraging, and staying the course?

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” {Matthew 5:16}

So, next time you see an extraordinary, yellow butterfly, stop and think about how perfectly God planned their purpose and path. And, then, remember, He has done the same for you.

Rest in that.

Believe that.

Trust that.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” {John 14:6}

So, please, keep following the Son.

It really is the only way in this crazy life.

And, yes, keep chasing yellow butterflies…

Holy Father, Thank you for summer. For lazier times. Longer days. And, sweet memories. We cherish your blessings and look forward to embracing your beautiful gift of fall. Thank you for each and every way you direct our journey. Help us not to miss your purpose and your plan. Thank you for the Son, who provides the only way to you, Lord. We are so blessed that you care this much for each of us. Help us to rest in knowing that you even care for butterflies. And, you, our Father, care for us even more. May our lives be as bright as the beautiful butterflies you send to remind us of your faithfulness. In the precious name of your Son we pray. Amen.

Thanks to this great link for educating me on these beautiful creatures.

Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly


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