Locusts, Storms and Other Trials
By Hally Franz –
The natural chaos taking place in my yard, and many others throughout theMidwestand southeast, will soon subside. The dull buzzing sound which crescendos to a roar, presumably as the work intensifies, will soon cease. The large, slow-moving creatures currently plaguing us will eventually be no more than mounds of crunchy cicada carcasses.
It is the end of May, and in my part of the country, we have been besieged by locusts for three weeks now. This year marks the emergence of two varieties of cicadas. My limited research on the internet tells me they are called frequently called “locusts,” but, in fact, are not at all the same beast. There are two versions: the 17-year batch and the 13-year brood. They seem as menacing as the Hatfields and McCoys, but evidently aren’t terribly dangerous. My little Chihuahua-Daschund may get sick if he gorges himself on cicada crisps, but sturdy trees and plants will survive the attack. They’re expected to remain through the end of June.
I was relieved to find cicadas don’t linger all season, and, then I remembered a Bible study from a couple years ago. In 2009, one gifted friend from our congregation taught the women’s class about “storms.” Specifically, she examined the temporary nature of hardships in our lives. With biblical support, she addressed the trials that early Christians faced, and we explored those encountered in today’s world, as well as God’s purpose for these events and how to grow through them.
I was going through a struggle of my own at that time. I had resigned my position as a guidance counselor after months of soul-searching and prayer, taking a leap of faith by leaving a well-paying job that I liked. I was experiencing high blood pressure and anxiety. That study was exactly what I needed, and I saved only one thing from the summer lessons—a handout that said “storms don’t last forever.”
Throughout this nation and the world, people are suffering, surviving and rebuilding after literal and figurative storms in their own lives. Some face silly and simple dramas of everyday life, like an outbreak of cicadas. Others, like those inJoplin,Missouri, are recovering from devastating losses. There is comfort in knowing that God sustains us through each trial no matter how long it lasts, and He will be there when it’s over to encourage and strengthen us once again.
PRAYER: Merciful Father, be with those who face struggles throughout our community, country and world. May they find strength and encouragement through You, and may faith grow stronger as a result of those trials.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NKJV).