Did you know that cicadas, who have lived underground for 17 years, are planning their comeback? According to ABC News, millions of cicadas will soon make an appearance in the southern part of the United States. They can damage plants when they lay their eggs, causing branches and leaves to split and die. But the greatest threat is to our ears. Cicadas are LOUD, and in numbers estimated to be upwards of one and a half million cicadas per acre, that’s a lot of buggy volume.
I lived through a cicada invasion over 30 years ago when my husband and I were stationed in Texas with the Navy. Having grown up in the northeast, we had never heard of cicadas. All of a sudden we were experiencing the 11th plague. Noisy, flying bugs were literally dropping from the sky en masse. When you drove into the K-Mart parking lot, you could hear them crunching under your tires. We would make a mad dash from the car to the front door and were covered in them in the 30 seconds it took to run. There was no getting away. Picnics and outdoor events were cancelled. They were loud enough to keep us awake at night. Fortunately, the life span of a cicada only lasts four to six weeks, so at least there was an end in sight.
In defense of the cicada, the screeching sounds they make are part of their life cycle. Having no access to dating apps such as Tinder or eharmony, they default to their biology:
The noises that cicadas produce are mating calls from the males who are attempting to attract females. It could be an annoyance to some, considering it is described as an “alien-like wail,” according to Virginia Tech. (ABC News)
Surely this impending invasion will bring a new kind of suffering to the communities they invade.
In 1 Peter, we are given a word of encouragement about suffering. Christians all over the world were experiencing persecution for their belief in Jesus Christ. One of the most significant verses in scripture appears in this passage when we are invited to turn all our worries over to God:
1 Peter 5 (New Revised Standard Version)
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
Are you experiencing anxiety? Do you worry about your life, your future, your health, your job, and your family? God cares for YOU. You are invited to cast your cares upon the creator of the universe. Imagine that!
Peter then offers sound advice about how to combat the source of many of our troubles. Be disciplined. Stay alert. Resist the devil. Look ahead to your deliverance.
8 Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.
So when suffering comes, remember that you are in good company. Give all that anxiety over to the one who will restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. Your steadfast faith and God’s power will bring you through anything. Even a cicada invasion.