Friday, July 24, 2015

Jewel # 220 (July 22, 2015)

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Cicada
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Cicada Killer

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord 
of hosts, in that day when I 
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

The Cicada Killer

“I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings.”
(Psalm 77:12)

The shrill chorus of many singing cicadas can be very annoying in July and August.  The noise goes on steadily with no break until suddenly, as if by a signal, they stop for a few moments and there is silence.  But soon they are singing again.

While the cicadas are singing, female wasps, called cicada killers, are hunting them.  After finding a cicada, the wasp plunges her stinger into its nerve center.  This paralyzes the cicada, but it continues to live.  Then, firmly grasping it, the wasp tumbles to the ground and turns the cicada on its back so she can pull it head first, like a sled, to one of the many burrows she has dug in the ground.  Sometimes the wasp drags the heavy, paralyzed cicada partway up a tree, until she can get enough altitude to fly back to her burrow.  She may have to repeat this several times before the trip is finished.

When the wasp finally reaches the burrow, she drags the cicada to the bottom where she has already prepared a little room.  Then she lays an egg and places it under the cicada.  After that, she goes back out to catch another cicada.  This process is repeated until two or three cicadas are brought to each burrow and an egg placed under each one.  As she exits each burrow, she fills it with dirt.

In a few days, the eggs hatch and the larvae begin life by feeding on the paralyzed cicadas.  After a week or more of eating this food, the larvae spin cocoons and remain underground through the cold winter.  In early summer they change into the pupa stage and shortly break out of the cocoons as adult wasps.  Then they have to dig their way out of the dirt-filled burrows.  Surprisingly, as full-grown wasps, they no longer eat cicadas, but feed entirely on nectar.  Cicadas are captured only when the female wasps need to provide food for the next generation.

How does the female wasp know where to place her stinger to paralyze, but not kill, her victim?  How does she know to place an egg under a paralyzed cicada, so the larva will have food for its start in life?  Who taught the young wasp to dig its way out of the burrow?  We know that these instincts are given by God who created and cares for them.

But have you stopped to think that His provisions for us are much more wonderful?  He gives us life and sustains it day by day.  He also gives eternal life to all those who accept the salvation He offers.  Salvation is provided through faith in His beloved Son, Christ Jesus, who died on Calvary’s cross for us.  

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).     

Have you accepted this invitation?    

Love you all,
Grandpa      

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