by Graham Mol
While collecting my kids from school today, I saw one of the parents of a child in my daughter’s class. Due to the lockdown and the social distancing procedures at the school, the last time I had seen this other parent was near the beginning of the year when her son had had his 6th birthday party and my daughter (and us the family) were invited. Greeting each other it was clear that we both were thinking of how long ago that was when she made the comment that she couldn’t believe that the school year was nearly over and that there had been so much that the kids had missed out on with there being far less to none of the usual parties and playdates that would have taken place. They hadn’t got to enjoy the full experience of their first year at “big school” and all the relationship building with new friends.
I was reminded of the fact that we all have experienced losses this year; some small, some life alteringly big. Amidst it all I think of one of my favourite verses of Scripture:
I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust ate,
the young locust, the destroying locust,
and the devouring locust—
my great army that I sent against you.
(Joel 2:25 CSB)
This promise of restoration is spoken by God through the prophet Joel to His people. Although they had brought the Lord’s judgement upon themselves by refusing to obey Him and turning from His ways, He promises to repay them for the years the locusts ate. Although these words are specifically spoken to the people of that time, into their situation, the heart of God can be seen in them and this promise to repay is one that I have held onto in my life. I know that God will make it right, He will restore to us what was taken away. Whether that be in this life, as we see He did with Job, or in the life to come (see for example Matthew 19:28-30).
This also means that God sees our distress. He is aware of every hurt, every bit of suffering and loss. We are not alone, He is with us and will make it right. Knowing this is a great source of comfort and encouragement in my life and I pray that it will be for you too.