Now imagine that the infestation caused some serious, very costly damage.
Go with me a step further as we imagine the exterminator taking out his checkbook and saying, "I am so glad you called. Wow, what a mess! Pesky bugs. Let me just repay you for the damage they did."
Wait--what? That would never happen.
Oh, but something a lot like it did.
In the book of Joel, the story is told of a plague of locusts coming through the land and destroying crops. Then a second round showed up and devoured what the first round had left. Then came a third round of locusts. Then a fourth! Can you imagine the nothingness that remained? Absolute devastation. Utter destitution.
But the people turned back to the Lord--they repented and returned. And when they called, there was no rejection--He just told them He was glad they'd called. And He went on to say, "I'm sending you new grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully. I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. 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" (Joel 2:20, 25, 26).
Um, Hallelujah! No other word seems sufficient. We've all had "locust" years. Maybe they were a decade ago, or maybe you're in them now. But whether then or now, they call out for redemption.
Mine surely do. I have already seen Him "make amends" (from the Hebrew word "shalam") and give again. I have eaten of the new grain. But there's more. I get to go through my days knowing He will continue to restore.
So as you recall your "locust" years of
going your own way
or your own "fill in the blank,"
know that you are received by the One who will wipe away the years of the locusts and will restore every single one of them. :)