"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you" (Joel 2:26).
In my recent reflection on the Scriptures, this passage has stayed with me. It came to my mind again today, as I considered how -- as humans -- we allow so much to crowd into our minds and cloud our lives. Sometimes, it's merely the "tyranny of the urgent." Too often, it is the corruption that we are heir to in the flesh.
It's troubling that we don't even recognize this corruption that courses through our veins or that clamors for our attention in our minds. Contrary to the teachings of some, these sinister drives, doubts and temptations lurk even within Christians. Christians are human too. Christians struggle with the flesh. They struggle with the dilemmas of existence, the challenges of ethical and moral decisions. And yes, they -- WE -- fail. Not always. Not without remedy -- Thanks be to God through Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
But I find comfort -- even repose -- in the words of Joel 2:25. God, speaking to His people Israel, promises personally to "restore...the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm..." Those years -- YEARS -- that were "eaten," were consumed by our own errors. Our own sins. Our own wanderings. Our own rebellion. Those insects were "a great army which I [GOD] sent among you." Our lives, our possessions, our TIME, were laid waste -- because WE have wasted them. Our decisions, our choices, brought upon us this waste and corruption.
But God, in His GRACE, promises, "I will restore..." Not that we deserve it. Only that He, in mercy and love, will return that which we've forfeited. And then He'll give MORE...
I affirm in my own heart often, this truth: "But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy [is] good, deliver thou me" (Psalm 109:21). That assurance is priceless in the peace it provides to one who too often fails -- but eternally trusts in Him.