As I turned down the road to our house recently, I saw a flock of beautiful yellow butterflies.
They were gorgeous. I thought how wonderful it must be to fly around like that with my only concern being where to find that next sweet drop of nectar.
Then it occurred to me how useless these creatures are. What purpose in the grand scheme of things do they serve? They are not even big enough to stir up a good breeze, and yet God made them. Why?
Then the Lord reminded me of I Timothy 6:17: “God gives us all things to enjoy.” That was it.
God made butterflies for me to enjoy. You see, I’m such a practical, get-it-done guy. It’s hard for me to appreciate anything that does not serve a useful purpose. But that day, God came through and made His point, a point that desperately needed to be driven home to me.
I have always had this one fear: getting to the end of life and standing before the Lord and asking Him, “Lord, where was that abundant life you promised me?”
Not too long ago, God answered that question for me and still reminds me occasionally with butterflies and sunsets.
“Kenny, that abundant life was there all the time. You just ran by it looking for it. You never saw the forest for all the trees.”
Then I realized what the Lord was talking about. He created you and me so He could be with us and love us. He likes having us around. As far as He is concerned, we are about as useless as those yellow butterflies. What can we do for Him that He cannot do Himself? Makes us pretty useless, doesn’t it?
I have three grandkids and two dogs at home who can be more troublesome and expensive than they are productive. But every time I see them, my heart leaps because I love them. I get excited when they get excited. I hurt when they hurt. They are mine, and I delight in them. I take joy in doing things for them that make them happy. And when they say, “Take your shoes off, PaPa, and sit right here with me,” it doesn’t get any better than that.
The Lord told me as I rounded the corner that day and saw the sky filled with yellow butterflies, “I love you, Kenny!” (You can put your name in place of mine. He loves you, too.) God is all the time doing things for us to make us happy and let us know how much He loves us.
I have received a few of His love notes recently. Kai singing “Twinkle, twinkle little star,” Jackson telling me a story about the hairy wolf with giant teeth, Zane reaching for his PaPa when I enter the room, a cool breeze on a humid afternoon, a lot of licks on the ear from Marley and Gracie, the multitude of stars on a summer night, the plumes of the pompous grass in our backyard.
Through these little messages, God has made me more sensitive to His presence. I see Him everywhere I look now. I hear Him everywhere I turn. When He whispers, “I love you” with a soaring hawk or a yellow butterfly, I simply reply, “I love you, too, Lord.” That makes His day. A day He made just for us.
So let us rejoice and be glad in it. And don’t forget to tell Him that you love Him, too, the next time He writes you a love note on the wings a yellow butterfly.
Kenny Ashley is pastor of The Journey in Lake Wylie.