“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25)
Dear People Who Keep Company with God,
Many things in life can be restored. Dreams can be resurrected. Houses can be renovated and updated. A failing ministry or business can have a new vision, and resources infused into it. Lost fortunes can be returned, and broken relationships can be reconciled and renewed. Yet one thing that can never be restored is time. Years pass and we never get them back. But God promises the impossible: “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” God is a Restorer. He is a Redeemer.
In Joel’s time, there were several years in which Israel suffered the total destruction and loss of their entire harvest through hordes of locusts that marched like an invading army upon their fields. The land and the people were devastated. But, “Then the LORD became zealous for His land, and pitied His people. The LORD answered and said to His people, “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them” (Joel 2:18-19). God didn’t stop there. He promised their fields would yield an abundance that would make up for all the years of loss and even more. “The threshing floor shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied” (Joel 2:24,26). There were years of abundance following the years of desolation.
Seasons of loss, disappointment, and sorrow are an unavoidable part of life on earth. Those times can leave you in a state of disorientation and disillusionment. You have to be careful not to allow the hurt and loss of yesterday to rob you of God’s promises of abundant life. The Apostle Paul was intimately acquainted with loss and sorrow, but he discovered the wisdom that brings the restoration of our years of trouble. He wrote, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). He tells us that the love of God is so great that not even death can separate us from His love. By not mentioning the past in the same breath that he speaks about the present and future, he warns us of the potentially devastating power of yesterday.
Your bygone days have the potential to cripple and keep you from all your God-given dreams, purposes and destiny. You no longer own your past, it is under the blood. Do not allow it to keep a grip on you. Face it, let the Holy Spirit deal with it, and your heart will be healed and freed. But that just makes way for the restoration of the years of trouble. Our heavenly Father desires to create something beautiful out of all your losses and brokenness. He wants to give you an abundance that will make up for all you have lost. And you will fall to your knees thanking and worshipping Him, not for all the sorrow, but for the mighty works of grace and glory that the Holy Spirit is establishing in you. You will tell God that you never want to go through such a terrible time again, but you wouldn’t trade what He did in your heart for anything. He will cause it all to work for your good. He will restore all your years.
Many Blessings, BW