When I went for my four-kilometre daily walks this past autumn, I would go through an area with apple orchards on both sides of the road. It was a beautiful sight, with apples ripe on the trees. There were always several things which would get my attention. One day, I saw some Woolly Bear caterpillars (sometimes called Fuzzy Bears) crossing the road. These are the caterpillars which have brown and black stripes and are sometimes thought of as indicators of a long or short winter, depending on the length of the stripes. There were quite a number of them this year, and this is what I learned about them on Wikipedia:
- The Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) can be found in many cold regions, including the Arctic. The banded Woolly Bear larva emerges from the egg in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form, when it literally freezes solid. It survives being frozen by producing a cryoprotectant in its tissues. In the spring, it thaws out and emerges to pupate. Once it emerges from its pupa as a moth, it has only days to find a mate.
In most temperate climates, caterpillars become moths within months of hatching, but in the Arctic the summer period for vegetative growth — and hence feeding — is so short that the Woolly Bear must feed for several summers, freezing again each winter before finally pupating. Some are known to live through as many as fourteen winters.
Some of these caterpillars were crossing the road that I walked on, a long trip for such a little creature. Every once in a while, a car would come along, and they would be blown back by the turbulence created by the car. They would tumble around for a bit, find their footing again, and carry on with their journey.
As I saw this happen, I thought about the times when we are blown off our Christian path in life. So often, we read anti-Christian articles and then, little or sometimes bigger thoughts of doubt seem to blow us off our chosen course.
Paul wrote about this to the church in Ephesus:
Ephesians 4:14 – We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. (NKJV)
When the winds of doubt start to blow, we should remember these words of Paul:
Romans 8:35-39 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray that when the winds of worry and the storms of life blow us off our road of faith, when thoughts of doubt enter our minds, You will give us the assurance that through it all, You are with us. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.