Exactly three years ago, I could barely get out of bed.
Each tear that soaked my pillow represented the hopes and dreams that died along with my 26-year marriage. The once vibrant dreams of dancing with my husband at my children’s weddings or celebrating our 50th anniversary dissolved into a tear-filled darkness. I wondered, “What now, God?”
Perhaps you’ve been through a season like what I’ve just described. How do we hold onto hope when the way of life that we knew is dead and never coming back again?
For me, springtime is the annual reminder that only God can bring life and beauty out of what seems to be dead and over in our lives.
Like the song says, “April showers bring May flowers.” I love seeing those flowers bloom! I live in a historical Victorian neighborhood with large homes built in the 19th and 20th century. Those homes are stunning, but nothing like the blooms on our trees each Spring.
Springtime is a symbol of God’s hope for all of us. Just as He causes new buds to spring out of bare limbs, God brings beauty and blessing from the barren places in our lives.
In Joel: 2:25, God speaks a promise through a prophet to His people while they suffered a great deal in exile: “I will restore the years that the swarming locusts have eaten…(Joel 2:25 ESV)”
Locusts consume what was planted for a purpose, whether grass, crops or fruit on the trees. They don’t care about the consequences or apologize for what they’ve ruined. Chances are, you’ve experienced moments in your life where locust-like circumstances swept in and destroyed your financial security, relationships with others, your health or your hopes and dreams.
If you’ve wondered if God can bring new life from the missing, chewed up or trampled areas of your life, He can and He does! You can trust God’s faithfulness. Even though God doesn’t always return exactly what we’ve lost, Joel 2:25 alludes to God’s “strange and beautiful” way of blessing us an abundance that is far beyond what we lost in the first place.
Three years later, I see God’s healing restoration unfold in my life. It’s far beyond what I could have ever dreamed of or done on my own. Did God give me back what I lost? No. But, He gave me more of Himself. God restored my joy, released me from the shame of losing a marriage that I couldn’t save and renewed my ministry in new and incredible ways.
Remember this: God restores.
If you’re having trouble believing that God’s promise in Joel 2:25, consider buying a bouquet of flowers or planting a garden this spring. If you do so, find a way to write out Joel 2:25 on a notecard and remember it each time you see the flowers of spring.
It may not feel like it today, but Spring is coming to your heart and soul.
Thoughtfully written by Barb Roose.
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