I was in high school when God really got ahold of my life, and for a teenager I was pretty radical in trying to communicate it to everyone around me. I was one of those carry my Bible to school teens, and together with a couple of close friends I helped to start and lead a before school prayer group in my high school’s cafeteria. Then came the college years, I got involved in a campus ministry, and I was determined to do everything I could to show my generation the love of God and His power.
God has His ways of tempering a rough around the edges zealot. Lol. It’s called marriage, motherhood, and life. It’s not that I’ve lost my fervor and zeal. It’s just a process of deepening and enriching a relationship. It’s the understanding that comes when your newborn ends up in the NICU because of breathing problems and you feel so alone because your husband can’t wake up due to lack of sleep. So you call out to the only one who never sleeps and who never leaves you. It’s the comfort you receive after the miscarriage of a pregnancy you had been waiting for for a year. It’s the assurance of more to life after suffering two losses of a father in love and a nephew within 15 days of each other. The assurance that a God is there with you when you feel life couldn’t possibly get any harder or feel any worse. That’s the stuff that knocks off the rough edges of pride and self sufficiency in a person.
Sometimes the difficulties may wear the edges down too much, and you forget. That’s where I have found myself at times this year, while walking through some very tough situations with ones I love. I know I’ve got a deep well to draw from in my relationship with the Lord, but retrieving the bucket with the extra long rope can be overwhelming at times.
This morning when I woke up I remembered a time when I was younger that I would ask God to speak something new to me about the New Year. I would anticipate that verse or word to come and really set the tone for what is to come. I felt like God was impressing me to ask. But I, in my worn down fashion, thought… “uh no, well ok. What do you want to say to me God?” Then I opened my email to see this verse on my “Abide” app email.
“The years of the locust…”
Immediately my mind went to a time this year while sitting in the waiting room at a hospital waiting to hear what could be done to help my daughter after her suicide attempt. Satan had done all he could possibly do to try to destroy her. But God was bigger.
Then I thought of the positions I’ve stepped down from this past year. My husband and I have joked about how the song “Nobody” by Casting Crowns was our new theme song. If we ever felt like we were somebody we can be comforted knowing we can be “just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who saved my soul.”
There had been struggles in other areas of our lives as well.
2019 seemed like a year the locust had a feast in our lives in some areas. But the good news is when the locusts have been having a feast, God promises to “restore”- to bring back to its former state, as good as new, or even better.
God is a God of restoration. His power “makes all things new” even the things that look irreparable. Because He is good!
There’s a song out by Bethel called “The Goodness of God”. It has been my theme song as of late. When we can’t see which side is up and our eyes are blind with pain we can be assured that God’s goodness is running after us. And the things that have been broken beyond repair are restored in God’s healing hands.
The locusts May have stripped our hearts bare, but God. He restores, and I am anticipating this year to be the year of restoration because of His goodness. Welcome 2020.