Lost Years and Locust Armies

Laura N. Sweet

Read: Joel 2:18-27

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten . . . my great army, which I sent among you. (v. 25)

She was raised in a Christian family, but she left her church as a young woman and ran with a fast crowd. After years of substance abuse and promiscuity, she finally hit rock bottom. Like the prodigal son in the parable, she repented and returned to God. But the realization of the years she had lost, and the mistakes she had made—especially with her children—were overwhelming. Was it too late for her to live for God? Was it too late for her children?

Joel describes a similar time in the history of God’s people. Judah’s idolatry had led to judgment; God had sent his “great army” of locusts to devastate the crops. Nothing green was left: fields of grain, fruit trees and grapevines had all been stripped clean. The people were facing starvation!

But Joel 2 speaks of the pity and grace of God. Repentance would lead God to send the rains again and bless them. Best of all, he promised to “restore . . . the years that the swarming locust [had] eaten” (v. 25).

God can do the same for us: he can redeem the years we wasted in sin. He can help us make amends to the people we have wronged. And he can give us power to live for him in the future! It’s never too late to return to him. —Laura N. Sweet

As you pray, ask for forgiveness for time that you’ve wasted, and for help to live future days for God.