A crack in the protective veil surrounding me permits a sliver of light to wake me from my slumber. How long was I asleep? My little cocoon is so snug and safe, but a sense of urgency is compelling me to get free. I twist and shake until I spill out onto the tree limb and into the fullness of the sun. The warm golden rays reach down to caress me as I stretch to my full length. Something big has happened. Not only does my body feel wondrously different, but it is like my mind has been renewed. I am reborn with purpose. The old me was content lying about eating all day, but now I want to … leap? No. I want to … dance? No, that’s not it either. Oh, what is this new magical word I seek? A little breeze slips beneath me and I am momentary lifted from my branch. Yes, of course! I want to FLY! As these beautiful wings unfurl, I wave them to the heavens and to my delight begin to soar to new heights! My sisters and brothers invite me to join in their whimsical games. We play in the wind by day and nuzzle close to rest at night. We drink sweet nectar from fragrant blossoms. Our wings whisper secrets as we flutter across one another in the treetops.
All too soon the days grow short and cold. One by one my family is led away. May I come too? Then I hear the voice of our Father calling my name. There is no way to describe the love that washes over me. Without hesitation, without fear, I take to the sky and follow His voice. He draws me through the forests. He leads me over the mountain. He compels me away from the comforts of land and out across the unknown ocean.
The days, blindingly hot, make my body feel heavy and sapped of energy.
The nights are freezing cold. I am tempted to succumb to sleep so often. What would it be like to resign myself to the watery grave below?
When ominous clouds release lightning bolts and pelting rain threaten to tear my wings to pieces, I repeat the whispers shared in our family games…
“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 youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.”*
The journey is long and there seems no end to how far the horizon stretches.
At times other Monarchs fly by my side. We encourage one another with those whispered words.
I share the hope I cling to inside. Surely there is a reason we are called. Surely, He has a plan for us.
Most often l am alone and struggle to hold on to hope. I have only the Father’s promise to guide me. All I can do is beat my little wings and repeat the words, “He gives strength to the weary.”
Suddenly fear washes over me. It threatens to chase the hope away. My exhausted wings go out of synch, and I plummet closer to the crushing waves below. God help me, I have nothing left!
And just as the merciless sea is about to swallow me up, a strong wind catches me. It lifts me into the heavens.
The Father carries me along in His loving arms, and I find rest in Him.
He whispers gently:
"They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."*
As strength returns, as hope restores, I glide in His current and imagine I am like an eagle soaring toward the sun.
Monarch butterflies embark on a marvelous migratory phenomenon. They travel between 1,200 and 2,800 miles or more from the northeast United States, and southeast Canada to the mountain forests in central Mexico, where they find the right climate conditions to hibernate from the beginning of November to mid-March. The journey can take up to 2 months.
Isaiah 40:28-31 New International Version