Whom or What Sustains You?

Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

I’m back to some butterfly updates today. Last Wednesday (September 6th), all three of our monarch butterflies came out of their chrysalises within an hour of each other.

We did get to watch the tail end of one of them coming out of its chrysalis. The wings started out only as long as the chrysalis. Then it appeared to be pumping fluid from its enlarged abdomen and sending it to its wings as they steadily extended before our eyes. The butterflies then hung there for about 4 hours before they started practicing opening and closing their wings, all the while with legs still attached to the ceiling of our butterfly house. A few minutes later they began to flutter, and we let them go outside. All of this is so incredible to me. This creature has never done anything like this before, nor has anyone taught him how to do it. But that perfect coding from our Creator does it time and time again. How does the caterpillar know it has to find a place to spin something strong to hang from for 11 days?

How does it know to take caterpillar segments and turn them into wings? How does it know to fill up its wings and then wait until just the right moment to use them? It’s all amazing!

The swallowtail is still in its chrysalis even after 2 weeks. I’m wondering if this is one that may overwinter. Won’t that be incredible!

So back to something else God has shown me with this last set of chrysalises. Two of the three monarch chrysalises were attached to the top of the butterfly house, and one attached itself to a milkweed leaf. Despite our best efforts to keep the cut plant watered and lively, the leaf he was on eventually fell off the stalk. Amazingly enough the chrysalis’ landing was cushioned by the water in a container from another cut milkweed plant we had put in the butterfly house. So, we pulled it, and the leaf it was still attached to, from the water and secured the leaf to another container so that the chrysalis could hang properly. 

Almost instantly Holy Spirit spoke to me asking if I thought I was secured to something that was going to last. Am I sure that whatever I am relying on will stand the test of time? So, I will ask the question for all of us, what are we relying on to get through this life? Is it our family, our children, our counselor, our pastor, our career, our spouse? Do we depend on people to bring us close to God? Everything on this earth, from material things to people to ministries will someday all fade away. God is the one thing that will remain. What if we lost that thing or that person that gives us peace or makes us feel safe? Would we crumble to pieces unsure we could carry on? Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we cannot have friends or family or counselors but when they become a God-substitute then we have just made an idol out of them. I have been in that place. I thought I needed certain people to pray with me in order to find peace. Or I hoped desperately that someone would give me a word from God so I could know what He was thinking about me or wanting me to do. It’s not bad to want others to pray with us or to line up for a prophetic word, but when we depend on these things as a replacement for spending time with God on our own that’s where the trap comes. If we could learn how to live this life all the while being connected to His vine as our only source of life we wouldn’t have to spend so much time looking for whatever flavor of the day the enemy is tempting us with. Neither would we be dependent on someone else to bring us peace or a word from God at just the right moment because God would already be providing it to us. God is the only one we can count on every single time, without fail, without limit, without distractions and without disappointments. Look at what it says in Matthew 6:8:

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

He wants us to depend on Him for everything. Everything from the air we breathe, the needs of our body, the jobs we carry, the money we spend, the time we leave the house and the time we return, even down to what’s on our to-do list and the order in which we do it.

Final Thoughts…

I looked up the word depend in Webster’s 1828 dictionary, and this is what it says: “hanging down, as a dependent leaf; not able to exist or sustain itself without the will or power of; relying on for support or favor; unable to subsist or to perform anything, without the aid of”. That absolutely sums up what God is showing me with the chrysalis and the dried-up milkweed leaf. He wants us to depend on Him and Him alone. Everything else will whither and return to dust. Let’s make it a goal to live as Jesus said in John 15:4:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.