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.


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

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  1. says

    We were missionaries in Russia for 10 years, field director for a team of 45 missionaries, then we contracted Lyme Disease from our mission guard dog whose owner used to take it hunting and it would come back full of ticks. 10 years and 18 specialists later my husband’s CFS diagnosis was changed to chronic LD … then I got sick with FMS/CFS later rediagnosed to LD … then our two boys’ bloodwork showed it last year, even as they excelled in art and music. Now a prodigy expert from Ohio State U has discovered them and it’s on our Canadian news, and in response Christian friends are sending us this passage of scripture. In spite of having a DMin I didn’t know where it was found so Googled it and came upon your writing. I am in tears, touched by God’s words and yours. Thank you ever so much from a sister in Christ who needed to hear this. Julie Tiessen

    • says

      Thanks so much for sharing your testimony of heartache, suffering, pain, and redemption. May you continue to know Jesus as your Victor through it all. May His Word strengthen and sustain you. May His love uphold you as you travel through the long roads and tired paths. May the hope of eternity be a glistening light when the shadows are grim and the light is dim. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Psalm 59:16-17, Lamentations 3:24, Isaiah 25:1,9, Habakkuk 3:19 (Amplified) are some of my mainstays in my ongoing struggle with CFS related symptoms. You may also be encouraged by reading my booklet of poetry entitled His Comfort:
      May His strengthening blessings of hope be upon you dear sister. Angela Sansone

  2. Louise Roderick says

    I haven’t thought of this promise for a while and then this morning, after chatting to my brother-in-law who is presently in need of prayer, in particular because of many wasted years, it flooded back into my mind.

    as I too, am going through a rather turbulent time – and have done for the past year, and have decided to take a leap of faith, this reminder couldn’t have come at a better time!

    God is so faithful, and so able to restore us in ways we could never imagine, it is hard to believe that our faith wavers at times.

    Thank you for your testimony and may God continue to restore you as you journey.

    • says

      I pray you and your brother-in-law are both encouraged and strengthened by God’s promise in Zechariah 4:6, “Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.'”

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