What the chewing locust left,
the gobbling locust ate;
What the gobbling locust left,
the munching locust ate;
What the munching locust left,
the chomping locust ate.
Joel 1:4 (MSG)
We all have things in our past that make us feel like our time was wasted. For some it may be years of being addicted to something like alcohol, drugs, pornography, or even harmful habits. For others it may be wasted years of depression. For some it’s time wasted on an unhealthy relationship that didn’t work out in the end. It’s like all the life in that time span has been completely and utterly destroyed. Like it just disappears and you won’t ever get to go back and make up that time. Sometimes we live in regret because of it. We become chained in bondage to the regret. Joel 1:4 talks about this time that has been “eaten away” by the “locusts” of life. Even when it seems like there is some hope, another locust comes along and claims it as its own.
If, however, you continue on reading in the book of Joel, you will come across the following:
I’ll make up for the years of the locust,
the great locust devastation—
Locusts savage, locusts deadly,
fierce locusts, locusts of doom,
That great locust invasion
I sent your way.
You’ll eat your fill of good food.
You’ll be full of praises to your God,
The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder.
Never again will my people be despised.
You’ll know without question
that I’m in the thick of life with Israel,
That I’m your God, yes, your God,
the one and only real God.
Never again will my people be despised.”
Joel 2:25-27 (MSG)
We are given the encouragement that God will restore those “wasted” years when we begin to live for the Lord. He will set our way, bless us with good food, He is OUR God. YOUR God. He wants to restore to you the broken years that have held you in a bondage. Through this promise, we no longer have to be in bondage to these problems. We can rejoice and know that the Lord is good and that He will provide. He is Elohim, our creator. He is El Saddai, where all of our blessings flow. He is El Roi, the God who see’s us in any and every circumstance and situation. He is Jehova Rapha, the God who heals us from the brokenness that consumes us.
We can know that when life takes a wrong turn and it feels like our time here on earth has just been “wasted” that when we allow Jesus into our hearts those years will be restored to us. It may not be in the way we think, but God works all things together for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28). Don’t let yourself fall into bondage for your past, but draw near to God and let Him restore your broken heart. Let yourself be set free from the bondage that might be holding you down and enjoy what God has in store for you.