Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Reveals His Presence"1 (Lyrics)
In Bird's Hill Park north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, I rested one mid-summer evening on scruffy grass by the side of irregular rows of tall trees. Suddenly, I saw by my feet an ugly, blackish-brown, seemingly almost dead bug half the length of my ring finger. As it came creeping slowly up out of loose dirt and climbed onto a bit of dry twig, I saw that it had an odd sort of snout, but no other distinctive or beautiful parts — except — What's that? — Wee pinkish-rust pyramids on its front "shoulders" — tiny wee pyramids that were emerging as it wriggled and kicked itself headfirst out of its old, dry, brownish "skin" that it left behind in one piece.
I stared, fascinated, as those wee pinky pyramids trembled and expanded and shook, until each was an inch long, then kept on growing and vibrating, and glowing to look like many live miniature stained glass panes that kept shaking and multiplying on each side of that beetle-body until they were two-and-a-half to three inches of amazement. Out flat. Wings! Wings that caught the evening sunshine to reflect pale purple, pink, and lime green.
I had watched the metamorphosis of a cicada! What God had wrought! Just like that — in a very few moments, the creature had changed from ugliness to become glorious. Now it would rise to the treetops and, with its fellow creatures, sing its unique and stridulant "song".
Cicadas are changed by a power built into them as creatures of God's creation.
We human beings are invited by our Creator to join Himself in an even more dynamic change: We are born clothed in our human nakedness, but Jesus says to us, "You must be born again" (John 3:7). And He gives us opportunity to join with Himself, voluntarily and freely, by faith, in His provision for our spiritual re-birth — re-birth to become what the Bible calls "a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Having joined Him, we are clothed in the beauty of righteousness, Jesus' gift of love to us. In this attire, we can rise to sing forever with all the redeemed the glorious song, "Love divine, all loves excelling", while exulting in the words, "changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place … lost in wonder, love, and grace." (by Charles Wesley)
In this state of exultation, we can attract and invite our fellow beings to join with us in faith in Jesus, and rise with all God's people to sing the song of the redeemed.
Prayer: Lord Almighty, we praise You that You have provided all that we need for our change into glory: Your life, death, and resurrection. Thank You that You invite us to join You with faith. Thank You that even our faith is a gift of Your grace. How wonderful that You endow us with Your Spirit of righteousness, in Whom You raise us to exult in You. Cause us to be exultant to the extent that we cannot do anything other than take the part that You choose for us in responding to Your injunction to take the good news to everyone so that all will have opportunity to sing gloriously with all the saved the song of redemption. Amen.