Who among us has not been guilty of sin? Our lives are full of it before we come to know our Lord, but many (most?) continue to sin even afterward. We engage in sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, and witchcraft. We are given to hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, and orgies. All are sins that Paul warned against in his letter to the Galatians (see 5:19-21).
We have lost years of our lives to these locusts, who have destroyed them with ravenous fury. Some of us despair that they are lost forever, but we can take hope from a great promise from God. Speaking for him, the prophet Joel said: “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25).
We can never recover these years, not literally. What God is promising to restore is the fruit that was lost, the harvest that was consumed. What we threw away with our foolishness, God will bring back with his grace because he is a merciful and compassionate God who loves us immensely and always wants to bless us.
God cannot do this, however, if we give the locusts free rein. They are like white ants. White ants can destroy an entire house if steps aren’t taken to eradicate them. Fumigating the area or spraying the walls does not destroy the ants that live within the walls. A particular pesticide has to be inserted into the wall at different locations. This involves drilling holes everywhere and injecting the pesticide deep within. Some of us might be reluctant to do this because it will make the entire house appear unsightly, but what use is surface beauty if everything is being corroded on the inside, leading to complete ruin. Once the internals are made right, we can fix the externals too.
It is the same thing with our lives. Very often, we focus on the externals while we are rotting away on the inside. To fix this, we might want to withdraw into the wilderness to correct what’s wrong. If we don’t do this voluntarily, God might move us into it himself. We need not fear. God is right there with us, so even though we might feel alone, we are not. And when the process is complete, God will fulfill his promise to restore what was lost. And more!
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed (Joel 2:26).
Therefore, don’t be disheartened or despair about those wasted years. There are blessings in abundance in store for you that will more than compensate for what you might have lost if you get right with God.
God is good!