Friday, January 6, 2023

From a Worm to a Butterfly

 A Story of a Monarch

The Monarchs, while they are in their caterpillar (worm) stage, have to shed their skin 5 times. They cannot grow without shedding their skin. Shedding the old skin to become renewed happens 5 times! (We too, are to put off the old-“flesh”.) To watch them shed it, is interesting. It looks like they struggle to shed the skin. It takes a while. When they finally get it off they eat it because it has turned into pure protein for them. Then when they finally are ready for the last shedding, they may crawl for the longest journeys imaginable to find a safe place where they can be well ‘rooted!! (I think of Who our root is.) They will go on and on to a place where they can spin their silk (faith and trust), which will then hold and attach them strongly to the chosen spot. We are amazed when they can, pretty much, go anywhere, but they have something else in mind. Because there is so much struggling that they must go through in their last shedding, it is crucial where they go to. When they find the spot, the final shedding takes place, this time, what dissolves is what is within them. This miracle takes place while somehow these chemicals inside them transform what was of the old, slowly, and again they shake and struggle to shrug off whatever is within (the “davar”). Then they starts transforming into the beautiful butterfly. 

As an observer (many, many, many times) I am wishing and praying their silk (our faith) will hold them to their ‘root’.  It does not always hold them, and as I watch in awe and even trepidation, hoping it will be successful, this glorious beautiful green, with golden dots, begins to softly cover them from the bottom up, entirely. (This reminds me of being cocooned/hidden in Messiah.) As the new covering rises, the old skin is pushed to the top, where the silk is and as the old and last skin finally reaches the silk, the shaking and struggling becomes even more violent, as it tries to shake off the last remnant of the old skin.  If the shedding of the old skin isn’t complete, there is usually a deformed birth, the wings never fill with the new blood. And if I try to pull it off later, I risk destroying the chrysalis (cocoon). So once the final skin is off, then in another miracle, in the quiet of the new chrysalis, within two weeks it turns from this beautiful green jewel to black! Then within 24 hours the chrysalis becomes transparent revealing the new beautiful bright wings with their brilliant orange and all the markings showing through perfectly clearly. Then within another 12 to 24 hours, the new creature, the new creation, the Monarch butterfly drops out, bottom first, and with its ‘feet/hands’ still holding on for dear life to the root of the chrysalis, the silk thread. It will hang on the root for 4 to 6 hours, pumping its new blood into its wings, in order to strengthen them enough to fly. Once again, during this process, if anyone interferes and/or tries to help the butterfly out, as it struggles, it will kill the butterfly. (A warning to the teachers in the body of Messiah.)

Once the butterfly is out and is enjoying flying around it will now have an interesting and amazing journey.  In that same single Monarch life cycle is an additional story... (Please note carefully) that there are 3 to 6 generations of this one Monarch that completes a one year annual cycle, flying from the Northern ranges in the US and southern ranges of Canada, 3,000 miles down to Mexico (and now Florida) and back. All in one year of a single Monarch. (Thinking about Abraham, who was promised a thousand generations and yet he was one single father.) Of these generations only one generation is able to fly the whole long fall trip from the northern home range to the southern home range in the spring. This generation in the northern range is often referred to as the super generation. So the super generation that leaves Canada in the fall to fly south nearly 3,000 miles, is the only generation to live a long life of 6 to 9 months. They have to live long enough to make the journey all the way to the same trees that their ancestors left in Mexico, stay the whole winter, mate in the spring, and start north.

So how does the generation in Canada suddenly live so long, compared to the few weeks of the generations flying north in the spring?

In Canada that generation goes through a process called diapause, which suspends their development, to include turning off their sexual organs, so that their energy can go into storing fat reserves for the long journey south. One of the many miracles, unsolved of course by science, is that these butterflies, the super generation,  leaving Canada have never before flown south 3,000 miles,  yet they know exactly where to go ‘home' and to which tree!

The super generation remains over the winter in Mexico. They are alerted that it is time to fly north, by the LIGHT, when it gets longer, and by the warmth of the sun.  So that same Super Monarch that left Canada months before, stays on a tree in Mexico for the winter, goes out of diapause when the light and temp change, mates and then starts the journey north. They lay their eggs as soon as they get south (Florida or Texas). When they get to the land route going north they die shortly after laying their eggs. . The eggs from those now dead super generation Monarchs, is where the ensuing caterpillars and ensuing butterflies come from. They only live 2 to 4 weeks. Each generation from that super generation Monarch that left Canada, keeps looking for milkweed along the same route of their forefathers, mate, lay eggs and die. They do this all the way to their northern ranges where their great-great-great grandparents (the super generation) left! 

As a side note...All Monarchs in either direction, must always fly to their HOST plant, the milkweed, in order to survive! They cannot under any circumstances survive without their host. Could that be the Holy Spirit? Imagine that :) Also they are protected by the host plant :) Could that be the Torah? Because the milkweed is toxic, it protects the monarchs from predators, birds, lizards, who try to eat them. As our milkweeds get torn up (the HOST) the Monarchs die. It is the only route they know, so if there is no food, they do not have it in them to look for a new route that may have other hosts. Hence, the endangered Monarch. (Maybe this is why there is only a remnant that make it home?).

Once the 4th or 5th generations arrive in Canada, they lay there the last eggs and those caterpillars and the ensuing super generation Monarch goes into diapause, starting to store their fat and nectar to gain enough energy to make the long dangerous 3,000 mile flight south to the exact same trees from where their great great grandparents before them left their HOME.  

How much more does this hold true for the hundreds of generations of the Abrahamic sperm that conceived Abraham and Sarah’s promised son Isaac, the seed that would not only inherit the covenanted land, but the whole world?! (See Psalm 37 and Romans 4:13-16).


  1. Wow. Thank you for sharing this amazing journey and its application to our own journey of faith as a nation of Israelites!

  2. Thank you for your comment Rivka, it is always encouraging