Spirit Lifting: Butterfly Blessings

This devotion reminds us that God blesses us in innumerable ways, sending gifts both large and small.

Posted in , Mar 31, 2022

A monarch butterfly rests on milkweed; photo by Annie Otzen/Getty Images

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”—James 1:17 (NIV)

Recently, a neighbor came over for iced tea. She wanted advice about which flowers to plant in her garden. Glasses in hand, we strolled through my yard.

“These pink roses and azaleas grow well,” I said. Then I showed her where I’d planted purple agapanthus and bright yellow lantana. She pointed to some green stalks in the corner—bare except for a few small leaves.

“What happened there?” she asked.

“That’s milkweed.”

She stepped closer. “Oh no, caterpillars are eating it!”

“I know,” I said, laughing.

“You don't mind?”

“No,” I said. “Every year, monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the milkweed. Then caterpillars hatch. They’ll cocoon and eventually emerge as beautiful butterflies.”

“But they’ve eaten all the flowers!” she said.

“That’s okay,” I told her. “The way I see it, every flower in my garden is a gift from God and helping sustain the butterflies is a simple way to pay his gift forward.”

As we walked back to the house, I said a silent thanks to God for his never-ceasing care.

Lord, please give me the creativity to find meaningful ways to pay your gifts forward.—Melody Bonnette Swang

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