I don’t think I have ever seen this Bible verse before. When it came up in my Bible study I was brought to tears. Big giant baby tears. Close to sobbing. I teared up again in group when we talked about it.
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. Joel 2:25
The whole passage is about how God while not only give back to you, but will make it even better all those years that were eaten alive by locusts. No, I don’t have locusts in my life. I don’t think I have even seen one. Is a cicada close? My brother would know. Anyway, I know what it feels like to have your life eaten alive. It doesn’t matter what does the eating, it is all caused by the same thing, nasty locusts.
Just kidding. Evil, sin, the devil, that guy causes all the locusts infestations that rob you of good thought, of good life. I felt so responsible for my locusts. I am four years into my sobriety and still being eaten alive. I still couldn’t get past my past. I keep reliving that pain and regret. I went into hyper drive and ran around like a mad woman for 4 years. I realized I was trying to make up for those missing years.
I felt like, if I did enough great things and good deeds and helped enough people, I could make up for the mess I had before. I felt like my new life would always be in the shadow of the life I had before. Which seemed very fair and unfair at the same time. I felt like I deserved this feeling. I mean, a decade of bad decisions warranted this feeling, right? More than a decade. The majority of my life, actually. I can’t remember many of them, but I know those bad decisions happened. There is some level of documentation and there is also the fact that my life was almost completely destroyed by my own hand. Sure, there were some things that set into motion, but I could never get over how I handled those things. I felt responsible. I felt like I could have done so many things differently. I could have, but I didn’t.
The other problem was, I was exhausted. I was trying so hard to find success, have this great life, be this great person, that I was SO tired. I wasn’t able to enjoy things. I was so busy trying to make up for the mistakes I had made, the time the locusts had eaten, that I didn’t realize God already had. He had already repaid me, even though I didn’t deserve it. He has repaid me more than I could ever deserve. He made this promise before I ever screwed up. That is amazing.
To know that my life is and will be amazing because there is a God who loves me more than I can ever imagine makes me cry. It makes me emotional, in a great way. I love that. That, to me is what my faith is all about. This is what makes being a Christian so ridiculously awesome. We have a creator that loves us, unconditionally and more than we will ever know.
The other thing, I am not done making mistakes. I will make many more. Those locusts DO NOT give up. They keep coming. They know my location now and love to mess up my crops. God already knew that. He will keep fixing it. He will keep repaying me, even though I may have even told those locusts where to find me. That is very beyond comforting. The more I read the Old Testament, the more I understand. The more I see God showing us that He won’t give up on us. I know I need that unconditional love because I am a gigantic mess. I am so grateful that throughout the ages, God has continued to not only speak of His great love for us, but to prove it over and over again.