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The seventeen year cicada locust lives up to its name. When my children were little the locusts invaded. The little bugs had lived as larvae in the ground for a long seventeen year snooze. When they awoke one Saturday morning, it sounded like all the chain saws in the county had been jump-started at once. They were everywhere, eating everything.

They only stay for a few weeks, mate, lay eggs in the soil, and die. (What a great life, eh?)

My son, Jason was only three at the time. We found him on the backyard patio one afternoon using his natural curiosity. He was spread eagle, stomach down with his mouth wide-open and his tongue sticking out, touching the patio block. An inch or so from his mouth was a cicada locust, crawling towards the strange, beckoning cavern. My wife screamed, Jason and I jumped, and the cicada beat a hasty retreat.

In a few weeks you would never guess they had ever been there, but for two signs; there were holes in all our best trees, and the empty shells of the bugs. Empty bugs.


Those bugs lay for seventeen years awaiting a coming day. They didn’t know it. They didn’t know anything. They were dead in the ground; only the potential for life was locked and encoded somewhere in a genetic combination of DNA they didn’t even know they had.

But! When the moment came – the moment that God chose before the foundation of the earth – that genetic pattern kicked in, and those little bugs did what their Creator intended. That’s the way it is with genetics . . . no guesses, just follow the code. Part of that code means shedding the outer shell and flying away. Empty bugs.

What are you? Are you an empty bug; just a shell? Or have you the genetic code of a...

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