The Bug that Changed My Heart

I hate bugs but this picture mesmerizes me. It's summertime here, so that means it's cicada season. The ubiquitous rise and fade of humming in clusters around the neighborhood… those are the males singing out their melodies for their mates.

But that's a lesson for someone more interested in cicadas. I'm not really. What did interest me was the ghost-like bug shells attached in random spots around the dogwood in our front yard. These are the remnants of the cicada nymphs, what they leave behind when they finally molt into adulthood.

We've lived here for more than three years now, but I had not noticed them until my toddler son suddenly took interest in the tree. As it is for many boys, the bugs fascinated him.

Cicada nymph shell.But these bug shells fascinated me for different reasons. Let me explain.

It has been a difficult season for us. Unexpected loss and pain have underscored my heart's desperate need for grace and change.

It's not that I wasn't aware before. I know I can be selfish. I know my attitude can really stink at times. I know I can be driven–many times to the point where I become my own slave. I, against my better will, can make a slave of myself and of those around me through unrealistic expectations or demands.

I know this. But I've discovered I really have no power to change this myself. I need a Savior to remove this outer shell that confines my better will — what He has already been growing up inside of me. I need that change to come from Him.

Through this season, this song below has been resonating deep in my heart.

The truth is, I need His perfect love to cast off the fears that constrain me. I need His grace to be greater so I can leave the skeleton of fear and selfish ambition behind.

Back to my bug shell… when I hear the sound of the cicadas hum now, my hope is renewed. For me, it's a melody of grace.


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