Finding Life Again
I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten . . . Joel 2:25
A friend in jail once told me that he loved to sleep, because in his dreams, he wasn’t in jail. When he awoke though, the pain of his situation came crashing down. Waking up every day to the agonizing reality of his existence was a profound misery.
I’ve been there. Enslaved to a life I hated, but unwilling to do what it took to change, I loved sleep and I despised my reality. Waking up every day to shame, withdrawal, and self-deprecating thoughts was awful. The only solace came in the form of another pill. I pursued what I thought I wanted, but all I found was pain and disaster.
It is to such a condition that Joel spoke in today’s passage when he told God’s people that if they returned to him with all their hearts, he would restore them. In wandering from God, locusts were sent to destroy the Israelite’s crops and way of life. In their misery, God told them that when they returned to him, he would restore life to them.
This is what God does for us when we follow him. He may not put everything back the way it once was. Going back is often not possible. No matter what we’ve lost though, the words of Joel promise that we can know life again. It may be a different life and it may not erase the pain of the past, but in God, we can know joy and peace, despite our history and circumstances. To get there though, we must surrender our path for God’s.
I don’t do it perfectly, but now, every morning, I wake up grateful for a new day and a new life. Every day, I make a genuine effort to point myself at God. Again, I fail miserably at times, and I will never get back the exact life I had before, but in following God daily, I find that I want to wake up. I want to face the day. I want my life.
This is resurrection. This is redemption. And it is what God longs to do for us if we will follow him.