I shared a bit from my Christmas newsletter in a post the other day. Well, here’s how the letter began:
I tell this story in part to encourage you and to illustrate how, indeed, God has made up for the years the locusts have eaten.
So, today, in my Joel reading, I came upon the verse from which I borrowed that phrase:
The locusts came to punish Judah, but God promises to restore the nation – and the verses point forward to new life in Jesus and the New Jerusalem.
God doesn’t just restore, He goes above and beyond what the nation lost!
I love these verses leading up to the promise of reparation:
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm. vs. 12, 13
I remember sitting in the middle of the dry years, the years where I had to go back to work because DH wasn’t receiving a church call, the years where all my closest friends were anywhere but where I lived, the years where God seemed to pull away.
It was such a bleak and lonely time. In many ways, my life appears more difficult now, but I look back on the greyness of those years, sad that my children’s mother wasn’t in a better place.
And, yet, God used that time to help me turn back to Him – in the dark places where I never knew I’d strayed. He used that time to do deep work. I never expected him to do such a work of restoration. I’d settled, reduced my expectations.
Far beyond what I could ask or imagine. Far far beyond what I deserved. But He is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.” He restored those years.
Oh, how I pray for DH that he receives back HIS lost years, 8 years without a ministry call, without any meaningful work outside the home, without good health. I’ve come back into color but I believe DH’s years are still grey.
I dream of a day after a new kidney, new knees, new lense in the second eye – coupled with the extreme weight loss due to determination, then kidney failure. I dream of a day when DH returns to ministry. I dream of a day when Jesus-love replaces fear and fatigue. And I see a new man. A man who’s years have been restored. A man who finally steps into the masculinity God has waiting for him.
I realize it might not happen. I’m realistic.
But God does specialize in restoring locust-eaten years. Even years eaten by swarming, crawling, consuming, and chewing locusts! A great army of locusts!
Dear Jesus: You did it for me. Can you restore DH’s lost years? For his good and Your glory? And I think his family would enjoy it, too. Amen.
I was thinking how many days I have left to post this year and wondering if I got my numbering messed up along the way. I didn’t have a good system early on for keeping my numbers straight, so I may have two Day 22s, for example.
Well, I just discovered the coolest thing from NASA! A day of the year calendar. I lo0ked at the Leap Year calendar and voila, 12/12/12 is day 346. So I am on the money! Yay! Nineteen posts to go (not that I am counting or anything).
Joel 1:1 – 3:21, Psalm 140:6-13, Proverbs 29:24, Revelation 2:1-29. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only)