Joel 2:12-14, 25-26
12 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. 13 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. 14 Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse.
25 The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. 26 Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you.
I have encountered multiple armies of locusts in the field of my life, my marriage and my parenting. Some of them destroyed only a portion of the crops and some have stripped every sprig of growth, leaving nothing but bare soil. Some of the locusts swarmed me, leaving me feeling completely overwhelmed and helpless. Some of them hopped all over me, becoming a pesky nuisance that distracted me and caused me to live in constant fear, not knowing what direction they would come to pounce on me again. Some stripped away everything of value to me, leaving me feeling absolutely hopeless about my future. And some cut my soul so deeply that death seemed to be the only possible relief. Some of those locusts invaded my field as result of my sin….and some trespassed on my land because of someone else’s.
At times I have yelled violently, shaking my fists at the enemy for sending these vicious attacks, but only recently have I realized that the enemy can do nothing without God allowing him to. Every army of locusts that are dispatched to my field MUST be given permission to destroy by the Creator of the universe. Nothing, absolutely nothing in this life happens to me without passing through the hand of God Almighty first.
It’s an earth shaking revelation to know that God has allowed, or even sent destroying armies of locusts to obliterate almost every living thing in my field. But, I am slowly beginning to understand that every trial, every heartbreak, every loss, every triumph, every devastation, every abundant harvest is from Him and FOR Him. And, every locust sent is for my ultimate good because it draws me closer to Himself and causes another area of my flesh to die so that I can grow to be more like His Son. He endured every swarming, hopping, stripping and cutting locust on my behalf, so that I may have life to the full……. and if that weren’t enough, He promises to restore what was lost to the locusts, as I return to Him and repent.
Lord, I praise you for the blessings of the locusts in my life. You are loving, you are righteous, you are healer, you are deliverer, you are redeemer, you are restorer …and you work ALL things for my good.