{RE:} Restored Years

Tuesday: Restored Years

When we think about things that can be restored - rebuilt and made new - we don't often think of time. We can't go backwards or change time no matter how much we may want to. But today we are going to reflect on what it means that God has promised to "restore years."

Read: Joel 2:21-22 & 24-26 (ESV)

"Fear not, O Land;
be glad and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things!
Fear not, you beasts of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit;
the fig tree and vine give their full yield.

The threshing floors will be full of grain;
the vats will overflow with wine and oil.

I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter...

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God.
And my people will never again be put to shame."


The people of Israel had endured consecutive years of famine and their crops had been destroyed by swarming locust. The people were not innocent in all of this - they had been disobedient and regularly rejected God and the covenant. At the beginning of this chapter, the prophet Joel calls the people of God to return to him with fasting and weeping. He says that God is "jealous for his people and for the land." God longs for all things to be restored.

At times, life can feel like famine. Like nothing is life-giving, there is no fruit, and every year (month/week/day) seems to bring more of the same. God's promise of restoration can be true for you today just as it was for the people of Israel.

What is a lost year? Times and seasons that we wish we could forget. The journey we think could never result in anything good or beautiful or fruitful.

  • Have you been through "years" that felt lost? A season when maybe everything felt broken or difficult. A time when you worked so hard but it just never seemed to produce what you hoped it would.
  • What are the "locusts" that ate your days? A failed relationship, a lost job, a scary diagnosis, a death, the end of a dream, a season of financial scarcity.... 

God promises years of restoration and abundance. God does not turn back the clock and give them a chance to prepare better or follow the law more closely. What God promises is an abundant harvest season to come - restored workers, restored land, restored crops, restored nation.

  • Do you believe that God can restore time that feels wasted or filled with pain and disappointment? Not just as a general idea about who God is - Do you believe that about your own locust-eaten years.
  • What would it look like for God to restore your years following trial? How can God restore your tender heart, your broken dreams, your dead ends?

There is fullness, joy, flourishing, and abundance in God. These locust seasons may have left you feeling broken, but God will not leave you the way he found you.

God delights in restoring his people. God delights in restoring his creation.

Turn to him even now... he will restore the years the locusts have eaten.


God of inconceivable power,
incomprehensible glory,
immeasurable mercy,
unspeakable kindness,
look on us in your tender love
and show your rich mercy and compassion
to us and those who pray with us.

Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, fourth century


Nick Tebordo - April 5th, 2022 at 4:25am

In the 300’s, St John Chrysostom referred to “those who pray with us”. Nearly 1800 years later, that’s us! The communion of saints is real and transcends time. There is a song by the group Thrive,”Pour Your Spirit Out” that I’ve been listening too a lot lately. After singing about Lazarus coming out of the grave, there’s a line that says”Jesus rewrites history”. When I think of where my life was headed before I was born again, I marvel at how He changed my story-my history! I think of my family-my life in Cohoes and marvel at His goodness. Just last week, God broke through my thoughts and plans and told me to “stop going to the well”-He had new things to show me and to do with me. He continues to “rewrite my history” as each day unfolds. God delights in restoring what the locusts have eaten. Everything that Job lost was not only restored but doubled!

Becky Thayer - April 5th, 2022 at 5:26am


Forgive my unbelief, increase my faith & hope!

David Edelstein - April 5th, 2022 at 5:34am

As a work with high school students as well as in talking with a couple of the young teenagers in the confirmation class, I think back to my own teenage years and 20s. i wish I could go back in time and be more assertive to do those things that would have jump started my career and my maturity level. However, now many decades later, God has given me a double portion of the wisdom I lacked back then and an eagerness to still learn and change.

Bridgette - April 5th, 2022 at 5:41am

Thank you for the word!!!

I have felt trapped in a valley of disappointment and wasted time but to realize God can restore and allow you to recuperate from your locust eating years

Melody - April 5th, 2022 at 6:35am

I was waiting eagerly for this scripture! It's my favorite promise of restoration in the entire Bible. Such an image--new growth coming from the stubble of destroyed crops, he times to come bring so much more than the times that were lost. I 💯 believe this for my own life, and claim it now for the years stolen by COVID and some personal struggles I've gone through during this time. Spring is on the way.

Susan Blais - April 5th, 2022 at 6:44am

I think God that I have not had a lot of “locusts eating“ years. There was one time, when we were trying to make my second kidney transplant happen. Colleen and I attempted to make a transplant happen in Albany medical Center, but after a year of preparing, we no longer matched. We then attempted to have an incompatible kidney transplant at John’s Hopkins In Baltimore, but our bloods were too far apart and they wanted to attempt a “swap“ weird colleen would give her kidney to someone else and someone else would give me a kidney. They gave this a year and because of my antibody level they could not find anyone to match me. So, it seemed as if two years were wasted and nothing went forward. No I do not usually suffer from depression, but I did find myself at one of the only periods of my life that I could not smile or enjoying life. This went on for a few months… I would sit outside and just “stew“ about the situation. One day when I was sitting on my porch an insect flew close to my head. I thought it was a bee, but it hovered and hovered around my head for a few minutes. It was then that I realized that it was a hummingbird. I had never seen a hummingbird up close before, and it made me laugh. It was then that my “stewing“ time ended. I knew inside my heart that God had sent that hummingbird to breakthrough that dark time and bring me hope. It was not long after that we received the call that John’s Hopkins called and said they would attempt the incompatible transplant because there was no one to match me. This transplant gave me four years free of dialysis. It was not tremendously successful, and the program was discontinued soon after. However, four years free of dialysis is a blessing in itself, and I think God for allowing Colleen and I to experience it. I thank you Lord for allowing Colleen and I to participate in this life-saving procedure. Even though it may not have been successful for me, I do pray that you gave the doctors wisdom to move forward In their attempt to find alternatives To dialysis.




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