Every summer cicadas act out a new birth ritual. For years cicada nymphs live in the ground feeding on the sap of roots. Then, when summer heats up mature nymphs burrow up from the ground. They climb onto tree bark or other surfaces to molt. Here, they emerge out of their old exoskeleton into their final adult form. The old shell is left behind as they fly off in their new body.
As a follower of Jesus it is easy to picture here an illustration of the resurrection. To those who don’t believe in the resurrection I will say to you what Jesus said in his day, you don’t understand the power of God.
Of course this is not really a picture of life after death. It is, though, a picture of transformation of life. This bug sheds off its old life to become something new. Our eyes witness a dramatic change in the nature of this creature.
There are times when people believe there is no hope for their lives. If you are one of them, I ask you, Can you believe there is yet a new hope for you? Will you believe that God can birth something new in that old crusty self you see in the mirror? You are never so ruined that God cannot make you new.
If you have life in Jesus, the power of God’s new life is already at work in you making you new. God is shaping you into a new life even through experiences which can be painful and hard. On the outside you may seem crusty and hard. Yet in Christ, God’s work of grace is more than getting a pass into heaven. It is the power of the Spirit to make a new you. Like the cicada, someday God can birth a new life out of your old self.
I knew a man who wanted to see a miracle. His last days were spent in a hospital fighting cancer. What he didn’t realize is that God worked the miracle in his heart. Instead of waiting for God to do the spectacular, this man became a miracle of encouragement as he went from room to room cheering up the other patients fighting cancer.
Don’t give up. God can birth something new in you.