I had watched and waited all summer and into the fall of 2017 for monarch caterpillars to appear in my garden. I love when I discover the first caterpillars hidden under leaves. To me it is like finding miniature treasures. I usually give a squeal of delight and run to show Cooper the first caterpillar of the season. But summer came and went. I looked. I waited. Every two to three days I searched under leaves. 

I would notice the leaves were being stripped from the stalks on the butterfly weed. A sign that caterpillars are eating away at the plants. And yet.... no caterpillars. Silly as it may seem, I became discouraged by the lack of the little striped critters in my garden. There was an infestation of aphids. But without harming the eggs and monarchs, there is no way to rid the plants of aphids except by tedious and time consuming manual removal.

It wasn't until mid October that I saw caterpillars. I was elated! Daily I would go and hunt for caterpillars. I began noticing that many caterpillars were straying off the butterfly weed onto the side of our garage. Because the temperatures were a little chilly on the days I found them, I could only guess the warmth of the side of the house lured them off the plants. One day I must have found around 27 caterpillars. I carefully relocated them to leaves that would nourish them and help them grow.

 

In my mind it paralleled how often we go in search of false things that don't satisfy. We stray. God in His love longs to bring us back to a place were He can care for us. He wants us to eat of the truth of His word that we may grow and ultimately fulfill the purposes He has for our lives. 

Though just insects, I feel like the heart of compassion I feel for such minuscule, insignificant little creatures somehow mirrors God's heart. I delight in studying them. They make me smile!

In the same way, God delights in you! His delight and love for you is exceedingly greater than the satisfaction I feel in caring for and watching the caterpillars grow from the tiniest caterpillar to the most beautiful and elegant butterflies that fill my backyard with their delicate and buoyant dances.