Reclaiming Our Time
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. . . . You will have plenty to eat, until you are full. Joel 2:25–26
My mother shared with me how she chose not to attend college so she could marry my father in the 1960s, but she always held on to her dream of becoming a home economics teacher. Three children later, though she never received a college degree, she did become a nutritionist aide for the state of Louisiana’s health system. She cooked meals to demonstrate healthier meal choices—much like a home economics teacher. As she shared her dream with me after recounting the events of her life, she proclaimed that God had indeed heard her prayers and given her the desires of her heart.
Life can be like that for us. Our plans point one way, but reality goes another way. But with God, our time and lives can be turned into beautiful displays of His compassion, love, and restoration. God told the people of Judah (Joel 2:21) that He would “repay” them for their lost or destroyed years—brought about by a “locust swarm” (v. 25). He continues to work to help us in the challenges and unfulfilled dreams we face. For we serve a Redeemer God who honors and rewards our sacrifices for Him (Matthew 19:29).
Whether we’re facing a devastating challenge or a time of unrealized dreams, may we call out to the God who restores and give Him praise.
By Katara Patton
REFLECT & PRAY
What are you waiting for God to restore or redeem? How would you describe your attitude as you wait?
Mighty God, thank You for Your promises of redemption and restoration. Help me to trust in Your timing in each area of my life.
A key concept in the book of Joel is the “day of the Lord”—a pivotal time in which God confronts evil in a dramatic way, bringing salvation to His people. In 1:13–2:17, Joel prophesies a coming “day of the Lord” that will bring a wave of locusts like a relentless army and beseeches God’s people to repent. In response to their repentance, God promises to heal and restore the land (2:18–27). The concluding portions of the book point to a more distant and even greater “day of the Lord” (v. 31). In that day, God’s presence dwells among His people in a way that’s accessible to all (v. 32), and His healing presence will renew all creation.
Monica La Rose