The Brood X cicadas are returning. Every 17 years like clockwork. A beautifully orchestrated time of literal raising from the seemingly dead while in their nymph stage, to rebirth, redemption, renewal, regeneration, as their primary reason to emerge from the ground is to co-create the next generation.
Cicadas look a little scary. In reading about them I misread a statement that said “They are a real treat” as “They are a real threat”. One letter difference yet quite opposite meanings. They do look a little (well quite) scary, when in reality they are harmless, even to crops unless their sheer numbers crush vegetation due to the masses that will be returning.
I am loving the science articles discussing the “hard wiring” in the insect as they emphasize the timing of this year’s variety in many areas as exactly a 17 year cycle. In other words, it’s not a choice of the cicada, itself, but rather is bult into its biologically determined organism. These science-based explanations always amuse me, as if the miraculous perfection can be explained clearly by science without acknowledging who created the science. All one has to do is look at the intricate markings, the activities during the 17 years, the perfectly planned mating rituals, the exquisitely designed songs and dances, to be even more in awe of our Creator.
Art, literature, myth, and legend have loved musing and teasing out interpretations of the cicada given its uniqueness in so many ways. So why not a few more. . .
Yes, the cicada looks like a threat, but it truly is a treat. How intriguing to associate this fairly insignificant creature, seemingly here merely to reproduce itself, with other thought provoking ideas. It spends most of its life underground sustaining its existence. It’s not very attractive, at least in human terms or even as compared to butterflies. Its workings are not as sophisticated as those of the bees, and ants. It’s not destructive as are locusts although perhaps somewhat similar in appearance. And yet our Creator has created a purpose for the cicada being here, with exquisite perpetual timing, to ensure that there will be a next generation of cicadas. Our Abba, through Yeshua, has even created a mystique around this seemingly insignificant being to cause us to stop and think about its uniqueness, and through that, to share cultural interpretations further immortalizing the deeper mystery of its creation.
The cicada’s life cycle mirrors our own – we’re born, live, hopefully have descendants, and then die. Yet the metamorphosis occurs so elegantly, both underground and through maturation that occurs above ground, culminating in the hordes of mature males who will sing beautifully to attract their mates to bring about the next generation that will repeat this one. While in the dark underground, not much maturation occurs, just as during our lives when we are just doing and living. Once the nymphs emerge into the sunlight, however, they further develop into mature creatures, much as we become so much more, are transformed, when bathed in the light of Yeshua.
How these creatures can sustain life for so many years underground reminds us of our own transformations through life, from times of darkness and mere survival, to growth and change, very like a symbolic death and resurrection. Just as the exact seventeen years, our days, too, are divinely numbered, perhaps not all the same, and yet, from HaShem’s viewpoint, all as in the blink of an eye. We stand in awe of His tiny creations as He must look with love at us. As we come out of times of unawareness and literally self absorption like the cicada nymphs, we, too, experience a resurrection, a new life in Him. The emerging cicada develops into an adult and becomes ready to pass on its essence to the next generation programmed with the experiences of the past as well as lessons learned for the future. If so carefully planned for a cicada, how much moreso designed by our Creator for us. We take with us the wisdom learned ready to impart it to the next generation, as our days will fade and theirs carry on to generations to come.
How incomprehensible is the love our Abba has for all His created beings. He has given each miraculous distinctives and given us the ability to appreciate them with wonder. As we await this special time in nature, we acknowledge the coming of the cicadas is such a treat and not a threat. We do so without fear, but rather, with anticipation, with wonder, and newly gained insights into the innumerable lessons learned.