A Butterfly’s Flight, A Christian’s Life

This past weekend I saw one of the best nature documentaries I’ve seen in a while. Planet Earth and Blue Planet were fantastic, and March of the Penguins I’m sure is awesome (haven’t seen it yet), but currently out in the IMAX here in Austin there’s a film on the Monarch Butterfly called the Flight of the Butterflies.

There are quite a few pictures in nature that correspond to the principles God has ordained for His people, like the death and resurrection of a seed when it’s planted or the classic words of the Lord in John 15 on our incorporation with Him:

I am the vine, you are the branches… -John 15:5

These Monarch Butterflies freshly exemplify many of the struggles that Christians face in this life and promises we hope for in the one to come.

The Monarch butterfly was born to migrate.

Every year Monarchs undertake one of the greatest insect migrations we know of, one that involves three generations and thousands of miles. It begins in Mexico and ends in Canada. The butterflies that arrive in Toronto aren’t the first to begin this journey. They’re actually the grandchildren of those who left Mexico, and just one link in the chain. They lay their eggs in the gardens and fields of Canada in late summer just as the days begin to cool.

Those eggs become a new generation, a “super” generation, one that will live eight times longer than its parents and that will bravely reverse the migration (that took three generations) from Canada to Southern Mexico – all before the first frost. To accomplish this these butterflies must fly every day to their destination, which they have never seen, stopping only to rest and eat at night, until they have arrived together in the conifer forests of Mexico.

They fly as individuals, but they all arrive together at their destination. They gather en masse to overwinter together until spring comes and the days lengthen and begin to warm. Then the cycle continues, as they mate and fly north to the Texas Hill Country where another generation is born and takes on the flight.

“Until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith, and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” –Eph. 4:13

Only one in one hundred born will make it to adulthood, with the dangers of ants and birds eating them as caterpillars and crop dusters killing their only food, the milkweed plant. This plant, it turns out, is poisonous and disagreeable to birds and other would-be predators, and so though a bird may eat one, it will soon learn its lesson and the species as a whole is protected.

We know that everyone who is begotten of God does not sin, but he who has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the evil one does not touch him. 1 John 5:18
cf. Exo 30:25

After the larva stage they enter the stage of chrysalis are mysteriously transformed within their cocoon. The genes that they had carried silently as worms “turn on” and their brains and hearts, muscles and eyes change size and shape. Wings are developed. New senses emerge, and the royal butterfly emerges. The difference is astounding; from a lowly, earth-bound worm to a soaring Monarch, these insects, we find, bear the stamp of a masterful Creator.

I recently heard that these butterflies have two sets of DNA. The one for the caterpillar, the other for the butterfly. During the Chrysalis stage the second set of genes “turn on” and activate and direct the transformation of the butterfly. As in the type, first is an earthy image; then there is a heavenly image. ( 1 Cor 15:35-49).

Witness Lee comments on our bearing these two images:

As a part of of Adam, we have borne the earthy man’s image through birth; as a part of Christ, we will bear the heavenly man’s image in resurrection. This indicates that just as in Adam we have borne as those who are earthy, so inChrist we will be resurrected as those who are heavenly. Such a resurrection is our destiny. It is as sure as our birth and should never be questioned.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 1 Cor. 15:52

Watch a college ministry presentation on this topic.

Related verses: 1 John 3:9, 2 Tim. 2:2

Also on the topic of nature and the divine characteristics:
The Economy of the Trinity by ArkandArchitecture


2 thoughts on “A Butterfly’s Flight, A Christian’s Life

  1. Wow, what a clear picture of the Christian life! Thank you for the details, brother – I thought it is only the butterfly’s transformation that depicts what’s happening in the process of transformation…

    It’s good to be open to the Lord and see Christ and God’s plan for us even in the things in nature!

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