Monday, August 8, 2016

Miss Polly, the Caterpillar

Miss Polly, the caterpilllar
She is as prettty as they come, don't you think? She is a grand caterpillar, plump and colorful! Her full name is Anamalia Arthropoda Insecta Lepidoptera Papilionidae Papilionini Papilio P. polyxenes. I call her Miss Polly. You may too, if you like.

Her story began right here in my back yard, on a nice stand of fragrant heirloom dill. (She doesn't know I planted it just for her but, that's OK.)

It was a warm day in June (aren't they all) when her mother laid her there. After about a week of being a baby, she "hatched" into a tiny black larvae - her childhood. I first noticed Miss Polly when she entered her young adult time as a caterpillar. She was bright yellow/green with luxurious black stripes that accentuated her curves in all the right places. Her numerous (although stubby) legs were just right for holding a fancy little caterpillar onto a dill stem.

Miss Polly, the caterpillar,
ready to leave her caterpillar life behind.
I marvelled for a good two weeks at her beauty and voracious appetite. Then, just as God designed, the time came. She was about to leave her brothers and sisters and she knew it. Her itty bitty legs took her all the way down the dill to a new place, somewhere she had never been before. She found a good sturdy stick from a neighboring daylily and bravely climbed into this new territory. Her time had come.

She knew she was about to let go of this life, and prepared for it. I watched as she rubbed her face against the stem and released a silken lasso that attached to the stem. She put her head through the loop of the lasso and scooted it down to just the right segment. She also released a silken pad for a posterior anchor.
Miss Polly in her chrysalis.

After she had the lasso in just the right spot, the time came to surrender to the inevitable. She was leaving her caterpillar life. No more munching on tender dill strands with her family. That part of her life was over. In faith, she released her legs from the stem and allowed the lasso hold her. Her faith was rewarded. Now it was time for the transition to begin.

July 19 she set herself on the stick. The next morning, she was encased in this chrysalis of a casket. Her earth-bound caterpillar life was behind her.

Nine days later - she emerged from her temporary casket. No longer a pudgy caterpillar, she emerged a lovely long-legged beauty with glorious wings! It only took her about an hour to dry out her brand-new wings, say goodbye, and take flight.

Miss Polly just out of her chrysalis,
ready to begin her new life.
She is still the same little girl of a caterpillar that I visited over the course of her lifetime yet, she is now different! That part of her life, limited to crawling less than three feet off the ground, is over! She has a new life, with wings to fly her wherever her little heart desires! I seriously doubt that Miss Polly's caterpillar friends are grieving over her. They are probably rejoicing at her new life; full, free, and glorious!

I have several decades under my belt, and have watched the process over and over. Maybe you have too. We are born. We grow. We change.  We all change.

My friend, we are all destined to leave this earth. Whether we die before Christ comes or we are changed when He comes, the time will come for each of us to let go of this part of our lives and be changed into an eternal state. Read a part of 1 Corinthians 15 here. The question is where do we go from here? What happens next?

As a Christian (one who has placed full trust and faith in Christ Jesus as Savior) my next life, the eternal one, will be with Him (read part of 1 Thessalonians 4 here).  I have given Him my life and have trusted Him with the details of how it will play out. Meanwhile, I will do my very best to be obedient to Him while I am still here. When He decides the time has come for me to begin my new/eternal life, He will prepare and eqip me for the transition. Any casket will be temporary. My new body will be glorified yet, still me.

Those who have not accepted Jesus the Christ as their personal Savior will also wake up to an eternal life. Theirs will be one of everlasting torment. (2 Thessalonians, When He comes reward and retributionMark 9, fire never quenchedRev 21, lake of fire and brimstone, second death.)

Truths you and I can see from God and Miss Polly;
  • We are alive now.
  • This life is temporary.
  • God determines our days.
  • God designed and equips me for every stage.
  • This body will be left behind and we will be changed (while still ourselves.)
  • The next part of our life is eternal.
  • I can trust God with my today and my eternity. You can too.

Dear Father in Heaven,
I marvel at Your truths You demonstrate in all of Your Creation! How blessed I am to see Your hand at work all around me everyday. Thank You for the example of this little butterfly. Her faith is a powerful example to me. 

I pray for those grieving today. I pray that they will remember the butterfly as an example of the eternal life of a Christian, and let their grief be covered with joy. I know it won't remove their pain but, I pray You will give them joy through their pain, just as You have comforted me in my suffering so many times.

I pray today for those reading this, that they will be assured of Your presence in their lives. I pray that every one of them will know You as their personal Savior and have the promise of eternity with You. 

For those who have not yet come to know You, I pray You will make Yourself known to them right now, in a very real way. 

I trust You in every aspect of my life here on Earth and my life to come, with You. I pray today that I will be faithful to do that which You have created me to do. I pray I will be obedient to You and Your will for my life. When the time comes for me to leave this life, I will trust You with that too.

I pray all these things in Jesus' precious name.


Click here for more about me.


For more faith-filled stories, and one precious hummingbird I named Oscar,

read the first chapter here.

Want to read the rest of our story?

Click here to see Oscar at Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan