I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.
-Joel 2:25-27 (ESV)
On the television show American Restoration, we get a firsthand view into the business of Rick’s Restoration, a Las Vegas shop that cleans up, repairs and revives antiques. It’s pretty amazing to see a ratty, beat-up gas pump that’s been slowly decomposing in an old barn brought back to life. The rust is gone… The glass is replaced… The paint is fresh… It is literally like new again. Matter of fact, it’s now better than new. What was trash days ago is suddenly now worth thousands of dollars.
Joel’s book of prophecy details an incoming locust infestation to Judah in response to the people’s sinfulness toward God. The specifics of the event are horrific… The locusts will cover anything in their path. All vegetation will be consumed and devoured. There will be so many it will seems as though the sun is darkened. To their culture, a plague of this sorts was disastrous. Nothing could be done to defend themselves from this, so therefore all animal and human life was at risk. On the surface there appeared to be no hope whatsoever.
Nevertheless, in the middle of a world that appeared diseased, destitute and left for dead, God promises restoration. If the people of Judah would humbly return to the Lord and fully give him their hearts, then there is still time for renewal.
And the same assurance holds true today. When the infestations of life overwhelm us, we must never forget that the possibility of a comeback still exists.
I don’t know what you are going through right now… I don’t know the brokenness that you feel… I don’t know what part of your life appears to be beyond repair… But I do know that God promises to restore, provide and protect those whose hearts are his own. It may not be when and how we want it, but it shouldn’t matter if we fully trust that his presence is in the midst of it all. And by the grace of God that is enough for us to cling to with confidence regardless of our circumstances.
So we too must return to the ultimate Restorer, the only one who brings all things back to like-new condition.
Because no matter what the locust has eaten, there is always hope in the Lord.