Joel 2:25 reads, God will "restore to you the years the locust hath eaten." That truth has kept my heart and mind occupied these past few weeks.
What has been eaten up by 2020? Time with friends, hugs, handshakes, fellowship, the economy, jobs, health, trust, etc, you could probably name more. The locust of this pandemic has definitely ravaged the life we knew and left its mark. And we aren't finished. 2021 will also be scarred by the blight. And then there will be the added years of financial recovery. But I don't want to be that bleak. I want to plant the same hope in your heart as God's word planted in mine as I studied this verse out a bit.
You see, God calls the locusts, "my great army which I sent among you." God sent the locust. Just as the plagues of Egypt, God uses nature to reveal His power and correct His children. And not only locust, but verse 25 also mentions several other annoying and destructive critters. All nature is under His control.
Here's what I thought. God brought the locust. He allowed the devastation, but He also knows how to set things right again, to restore what was lost. Verse 26 says, "And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you; and my people shall never be ashamed."
God will restore. I hold great hope in that promise. Right now, it all looks so miserable and disheartening. It's hard to see the end of the tunnel and it makes you dread even looking, but there is light and hope because God is already in tomorrow. He knows what the locusts destroy, and He will put us back into the place of plenty, satisfaction, and praise. We aren't there now, but we will be.
My heart starts to rise with praise and hope when I think about that promise. God is able to restore. Where our hearts are broken, He mends and binds up our wounds. Where we stand confused and bewildered, He gives direction. Where we feel hopeless, He lifts us up. He is the Excellent Restorer who wonderfully strengthens the heart of His children.
Dear friend, 2021 is not where you place your hope - God is. A New Year changes nothing, but trust in God changes everything. You might feel all is hopeless or you have suffered too much loss, but God says He will restore what the locusts have eaten. Let's give Him some time and see what He does!