September 4, 2019 • By Ed Wrather
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm. – Joel 2:12-13 NKJV.
So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame. – Joel 2:25-26 NKJV.
According to a survey conducted by OnePoll in the UK of 2,000 adults four out of ten regret how they have lived their lives. 40% of the survey participants want to make changes in their lives in the near future. Deborah James a founding member of You, Me and the Big C, a BBC broadcast on fighting cancer, says: “This research is a really interesting wake up call to get us to think about how we want to spend our time now and to lay foundations for those that come after us.” Two-thirds of the survey participants were concerned about how they would be remembered. What would be their legacy? Regrets included spending so much time watching TV, looking at their phones, and focusing so much on financial success.
Have you regretted your life choices? Have you gotten off on the wrong track? Have you wasted years of your life? Many apparently have those kinds of regrets. How do you get back on the right track? How do you recover? How do you change? What do you do?
Joel gives us some direction for recovering from poor life choices and from the damage that sin can do to our lives. Because of sin the crops of the land had been literally devoured by the locusts. In a way, the lives of the people had been devoured at the same time. Joel gives them and us the direction for correcting damaging life choices. The solution is always to seek direction from the Lord. If we have gotten off track because of sin or because of our failing to seek God’s will for our lives, we must do as the Lord says: “Turn to Me with all your heart.” Joel says, “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.”
If we will turn to the Lord for help, then we can enter into the promise of God given by Joel, “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” This may not mean extended years of life, although it could be. It will definitely mean increased quality of life, abundant life, meaningful life, pressed down and running over kind of life. What are you waiting for? Run to the Lord!