The Years the Locusts Have Eaten

locust swarmIf God has brought you through or is currently bringing you through such a season in your life, the phrase resonates to the very depths of your soul.

Years of your life have been eaten by locusts.

Substantial devastation and loss have taken place in your life.

Sometimes as a result of:

  • Consequences of your own sinful choices
  • Sinful actions of others done against you
  • Health or physical struggles
  • Spiritual oppression

To which God gives an amazing promise of restoration:

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten — the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.

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.

Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. – Joel 2:25-27

The how and when of His restoration in our lives is up to Him. This promise isn’t like an insurance claim we wave before God and demand repayment of our own choosing. Rather, it is a promise of His own righteous restoration and redemption of the destruction and loss that has taken place in our lives.

It is a promise of hope in the devastation that once was a life of abundance.

In His promise, God makes a statement that resounds with His ultimate sovereignty, “. . . My great army that I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25)

God allowed the locusts that have eaten years of our lives. He is the Blessed Controller of ALL things (1 Tim 6:15). No plan of His can be thwarted (Job 42:2). What He has said, that will He bring about; what He has planned, that He will do (Is 46:9-11).

Could God have prevented the locusts from eating years of our lives?
Absolutely, and yet He chose not to do so.

Why?

We would do well to join Job in his conclusion after trying to reason, argue, and demand to know the “whys” from God for his suffering in Job 42:1-5:

Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.

You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’

Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 

He is the Potter and we are the clay (Is 45:9). He is our Maker and Creator and He owes us nothing, and yet delights to give us everything (Rm 8:32).

In 2000, I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In my early 20’s, it cost me my job, friends, ministry, and health. In 2003, I started having an intercessory prayer team pray over me. As these prayer sessions continued, it became evident that I was not only dealing with physical issues but also a large degree of spiritual oppression.

Before my prayer session in May 2006, I was walking and praying. As I was walking through a playground, I came across 7 folded one dollar bills. As I picked them up, I marveled at how they hadn’t been taken or strewn across the playground and road by the wind. As I held them in my hand, I sensed Father said, “You’ve almost had chronic fatigue for 7 years. I will restore the years the locusts have eaten in your life.”

At that time, I only vaguely knew the promise of Joel 2:25-27. Only after I looked it up, did Father start to connect this promise in Scripture with what He was about to do in my life.

Before Jesus would heal someone, He would ask a very interesting question, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mt 20:32, Mk 10:36, Mk 10:51, Lk 18:41)

The curious nature of this question comes when we remember that Jesus was fully God and fully man during His time of walking the earth, thus He was all-knowing. He knew what they wanted Him to do for them . . . and yet, Jesus wanted them to say it, to believe it, and to own it for themselves.

So too it is with Father’s promises, He wants us to say them, believe them, and own them for ourselves. And one of the hardest times to do that is after experiencing the years the locusts have eaten.

It’s tough some mornings to get out of bed and be faced once again with the devastation, let alone believe a seemingly outlandish promise that God’s going to redeem all this ravaging loss that has clung to your life like frost clings to grass.

Still, Jesus asks . . . and may we be like the father in Mark 9:24 who exclaims in reply, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

I pray we believe Him to redeem the years the locusts have eaten in our lives. He will.

Rest Ministries is great resource for those who struggle with chronic illness or pain.

photo credit: The Wild Center via photo pin cc

Swirling (Adventures in Faith series)

Do you enjoy roller coasters?

What about in your life: Do you enjoy roller coasters in your life?

Although answers to the first question may vary, most would answer a resounding “NO!” to the second one.

And yet, roller coasters of suffering and trials will be always be a part of our Christian experience.

Jesus told us this would be so:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Job victoriously lived through a fierce roller coaster of trial and suffering. In it he lost his:

  • children
  • property
  • wealth
  • good reputation
  • health

Which of those have you lost during the roller coasters of trials and suffering Father has allowed in your life?

When our lives are swirling through trials & suffering, how do we anchor?

We anchor to the Truth

As a prophetic intercessor, Father often gives me pictures to illustrate pivotal truths about a circumstance or situation He has me interceding about.

Everyone involved was literally swirling inside and out by the fallout that had taken place. Many people had been affected. There was damage, destruction, discouragement, and despair running rampant.

As I was walking and interceding that day
There on the ground before me lay
a dirty, cracked dog dish someone had thrown away

And I knew right away that the Enemy was looking at us this way
with disgust and disdain
“You’re no better than dogs,” I could hear him viciously say

And with those piercing words still stinging on my ears
I picked up that dog dish with a vengeance
and declared to all the spiritual beings sneering there

Know that from this day forward this symbol of our shame and disgrace will be a valiant reminder for me to intercede and to believe that Jesus will redeem

I washed the dirt and slime away from the dog dish that day
and though it was still cracked and broken
it was no longer a discarded, useless, forgotten thing

It became a reminder and still is to this day
Of what Jesus, the Truth, courageously whispers to our fearful hearts

Because I help you, you will not be disgraced or put to shame.
Therefore set your face like flint
Knowing I AM the Redeemer of all
even of discarded, useless, forgotten things

Dog Days or Flint – based on Isaiah 50:7

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When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty by Joni Eareckson Tada & Steven Estes is an excellent resource for more encouragement in your trials and suffering.

Photo on Flickr by Scott Ableman

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