Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Butterfly Spirit by Guest Blogger Sheri A. Taggart

Monarch Butterfly
A while back, my husband, Tim and I traveled to Galveston, Texas where we visited the "Moody Gardens".  There we watched a 20 minute documentary about the "Journey of the Monarch Butterfly".  It was beautifully produced and to top it off, it was in 3D! We loved it!

     In this film, they showed how the mother Monarch butterfly laid her egg on a milk weed in the Texas Hill Country. After a time, the egg hatched. The Monarch Caterpillar ate away at the soft shell; that was her nourishment for now. Next, the nourishment would come from the milk weed on which she was born. "Munch, Munch, Munch".  The caterpillar would eventually grow big and strong, up to four times her birth weight! She would then spin herself into a cocoon, trying to blend in with a leaf to avoid her predators.

     Up until now, her main concern has been about getting nourishment in order to grow strong and avoid her enemies. Her whole life has been just what she could see right in front of her, which hasn't been much. She did not even see the entire plant, just the single leaf on which she was born. What a narrow vision she had. The sweet caterpillar also moved about very slowly and for these two reasons she was a very easy "target" for her predators. We also learned that because of their vulnerability to their environment, very few Monarch Butterflies actually live through this cycle of their life. Most of them are destroyed by this time! The ones who do remain strong enough through all their trials and obstacles eventually break free from their cocoon to emerge a free flying butterfly.  A beautiful winged creature that flies high above their former circumstances. She looks as if she has absolutely no care in the world, just flying around spending all of her time surrounded by lovely flowers, soaking up the intoxicating fragrances as she feasts on the yummy nectar. What a life!

     As carefree as she may look, what we may not realize is that she is still hard at work. There are still three more generations who are depending on her to remain strong on her journey to continue the cycle of life.

     As I watched this film, I thought, "God is so smart"! Not only has He given us His written Word (The Bible), but He also made sure that we had examples in nature. (Being the visual learner that I am, I really appreciate Him doing that for us.) As I watched this butterfly, I realized that we are very similar to her. We are born and like any baby, our only concern is, "When am I going to eat?" Our little world is so very small and doesn't involve very many people yet. We have no cares or worries and all the while we have no idea what dangers we could encounter in a moment's notice.

     For many years, we can only see what's right in front of us as we struggle through our many trials and temptations, trying to find our way. We don't look very "pretty" at times. But when we learn about The Lord and grow in Him, we find "shelter". There in His loving arms we can rest, blending in with Him as our enemies (predators) have less power over us. If we remain strong in Him and have time of quiet stillness in His presence as we allow Him time to work on us through His Spirit, we will emerge from our cocoon with beautiful wings, ready to soar! (Well, maybe not wings, but free just the same.) Light-hearted like a beautiful butterfly. We need to always keep in mind that just like Monarch, there are younger generations that are depending on us to remain strong and blaze a trail as an example for them.

     When we "fly with God", we can see so much more than when we were stuck, restricted and enslaved by our circumstances (cocoons). As we grow in The Spirit, we begin to see the whole picture that God intended for us to see from the beginning of time. The life He has been preparing for us ahead of time. We gain a better "Kingdom View" of what He wants for us. We see every "flower" as a beautiful opportunity to reach others and live in His peace.

     In Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV), Isaiah uses a winged animal to describe what God does for us in our lives. Here he says, "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youth grows tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in The Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on 'Wings of Eagles'; They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

     To me, having a "Butterfly Spirit" is being delicate and beautiful in spirit, yet strong in The Lord. Trusting and having great faith in Him through all the times of our life, whether it is a time of preparation, adjustment or waiting. It's peaceful knowing that God can see much further than we are able. He's got a "bird's eye view" and He wants us to begin to soar high above our worldly struggles and see what He sees. This, to me, is having a "Butterfly Spirit", and it's a beautiful way to live.

     "Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

     "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with a song I praise Him." Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
Excerpt from, "Healing me, Healing you" by Sheri A. Taggart
(Chapter 15, "Waiting on The Lord"- a time for everything)

About the Author 

Sheri A. Taggart, a former fitness trainer and preventative medicine program coordinator, now owns a private practice as a clinical massage therapy practitioner. She also orchestrates and lectures for healthcare clinics pertaining to stress, life imbalance, and sleep deprivation. Sheri, a Bible teacher for many years, also serves in her Soul Therapy Ministry, offering free Biblical counseling where she applies God's Word to current, modern-day issues. Sheri lives with her husband in a small community near San Antonio, Texas.

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