While sitting on my back porch the other night with my two granddaughters, they were mesmerized by the buzzing sound in the trees. It was so loud we could hardly hear each other talk. When I told them grasshopper-like creatures were making the noise, they were amazed that they had such big voices. I told them they were locusts, and they made the sound by rubbing their wings together. So off we went on a nature walk, looking for the little critters.
Then I made a big mistake! I told them about the Bible story in Egypt where the plague of the locust “devoured everything growing in the fields” (Exodus 10). These critters were dangerous? It scared them. Yikes! What was I thinking!
Many of us have experienced what I call the “locust seasons” of life. It’s a season of days, months, or even years that strip us of the good crop—that is, what we most desire: a happy complete family, well-balanced children, or a promising career. It’s easy to believe that while in those “years of tears” (locust times) God has forgotten us. But He has not. In fact, my favorite verse in Joel refers to God’s promise that as a result of our obedience to Him, He’s compelled to bless us:
Then I will make up to you (restore, compensate) the years that the swarming locust has eaten—and you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and you shall then speak well of Me and praise My name, the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. —Joel 2:25-26
Have some of your years have been devoured by loss? Loss of a marriage due to divorce or death? Loss of a career? Lost years feel like fruitless years. But God’s Word promises He will reimburse the seasons that have been eaten up by misfortune and agony. He will work the pain together for a higher profit, which we’ll understand one day—either in this life or the next.
I know for me, I lived in earthly “locust years” for five years after my first husband left me. I wondered how God could make good out of all my sadness. Yet within time (and by the way, “time” is nothing to Him), God recompensed those days of tears with a revived focus and birthed Arise Ministries.
So what can you do to minimize the “locust troubles” and ARISE? Remind yourself it is temporary. Make good use of this time. Even though you don’t “feel” like it, do what’s spiritually healthy, such as being honest with God about what’s going on and personalizing His Word. When you come out of this season, (and you will), you’ll have stored up for yourself what is profitable for your future. Often God allows “locust years” to teach us something we might never have learned otherwise. It was in my darkest days that I experienced the MEDICINAL power God’s holy Word!
Are you in a “locust season?” Stay the course. God restores lost years by bringing long-term gain from short-term loss. These trials are testing the genuineness of your faith, and eventually you will praise Him for bringing you through the toughest of times. Like Joel, you’ll be able to say with a renewed vision, “The Lord has dealt wondrously with me.”
About Pam Kanaly
Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.