Repentance Leads to Restoration

from Lynda Lindsey

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend you heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.  Joel 2:12-13

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—- … Joel 2:25(a)

“And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. … Joel 2:28(a)

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; … Joel 2:32(a)

Oklahoma’s summer weather of prolonged high temperatures and near drought, followed by sudden heavy rainfall, makes for curious insect infestations. Grasshopper invasions devastated crops and grasslands in the 1950’s; in 2013 cricket swarms ruined crops. Dry summers cause the ground to crack, giving insects a place to lay eggs. Once rain comes the eggs hatch; the insects wreak havoc until a hard freeze. People even use leaf blowers and power washers in attempts to rid insects from buildings and walkways. As nightmarish as that situation is, it’s nothing compared to Joel’s description of  swarming locusts. 

Joel tells of a locust plague covering Judah’s land, devouring vineyards, orchards, grain harvests; leaving nothing but withered stalks and stubble behind. Joel calls people to repent and return to the Lord before it’s too late. The great and glorious day of the Lord is near. It is time to throw off complacency, idolatry, wickedness. It is time to fast, pray, mourn over sin, and cry out to the Lord while He may be found. God desires inner change, a broken and contrite heart, not an outer rending of our clothes. 

The good news: true, inner repentance brings restoration. Healing. Joy. Deliverance. God sends His abundant showers of blessing to us. What had once been stark, barren fields the locusts had eaten will now be lush with fruit, grain, new wine and oil! He pours out the Holy Spirit on us who believe, ensuring His Presence will be forever with us! Praise will fall from our lips. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! Don’t stay in a devastated land…repent and drink from the fountain of living water in the new Eden! His restorative water is sweet!