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. (Joel 2:25 ESV)
I had an ex-girlfriend quote this verse to me after I found out she was cheating on me. Safe to say I have a hard time with this verse. Understanding that God has sent trials to test us. Isn’t there a better way to get our attention? Why does it have to be painful? I grow resentful of God. When it takes longer than I would like for God to restore to me the things I think He owes me, I grow angry. I question His goodness, His faithfulness and His love. My own sense of entitlement and bitterness hinder me from growing spiritual and being useful for His purposes.
I must pause and think of the faithfulness of the Old Testament Prophets, of the Apostles and then all of martyrs. But surely they haven’t faced the things I have.
I don’t know the answers to these questions or why trials come. I simply know that the trials do come. Like a great blacksmith God is refining me with fire. I take solace in trusting Him. Praying for wisdom in the moments and eyes to see the connections. I love how the writer of Hebrews says we haven’t yet suffered to the point of blood. Jesus has felt theses things, he has been scorned and afflicted. I take comfort in that fact He has felt alone, abandoned and unworthy. I have seen God come through for me in the past and I hold onto those memories. When going into promised land Moses reminded Israel “Remember, Remember!” I need to remind myself of the Gospel, of the Sovereignty of God and the value of my life.
God is good and the locusts have swarmed. Those two statements aren’t contradictory.