Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thess 5:16-18 NIV)
Around late July or early August, the temperatures feel like they approach nuclear level here in the South (USA), and the air is thick with humidity. This is the time when the cicadas emerge.
My evening walks are my time to unwind and talk over the day with Jesus. So this week, when it had cooled down to a balmy 93 degrees after a heat index temperature of 112, I ventured out for a walk.
I tried not to grumble about the temperature or how quiet the evening was—even the songbirds had gone to bed early to escape the heat. But rather than let the complaining thoughts take over and sour my time with the Lord, I started thinking of things to thank God for—for freedom and health to walk, for the beautiful sunset He painted, for…and then I heard it! A low, bagpipe droning sound. The cicadas were singing. It was too hot for the songbirds but just right for the cicadas to take up the praise.
Cicadas actually need the heat to become active…and start “singing.” Their muscles contract to make a special organ—called a tymbal—begin to vibrate. Their wings click and flick. A symphony of rhythm and percussion fills the air.
Perhaps the same is true of us. We each have a different song to praise the Lord with, depending on the season we are in. There are songs of praise or lament, day songs, and night songs. And some songs can only be produced by “heat.”
So, when you find yourself in a fiery trial (or out for a walk on a sweltering summer evening), find a few things you can give thanks for and ask God to teach you a new song. Remember the cicadas and the heat…and sing.