I’m no stranger to disappointment, disillusionment, discouragement and despair.
I have had some amazingly lofty peaks in this life but I’ve also had some terribly low valleys as well.
Some of the stories aren’t mine to tell so you will just have to take my word for it. Some of the stories I’ve already shared in this space so if you want more details you can check out old posts.
Right now I feel like I’m in one of those valleys.
In fact, I feel like I’m in the locust years the prophet Joel talks about in the Bible book that bears his name.
So I will restore to you the years that the swarming [a]locust has eaten,Joel 2:25-27
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 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.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.
Joel (his name means “Yahweh is God”) was sent by God to encourage the nation of Israel during a time of famine and judgement. Because God’s chosen people refused to follow Him and obey His commandments, they were punished. God didn’t do that to harm them. He did it to draw their attention to their sin and to woo them back to Himself.
I’ve written before that child loss is not a test or a judgement or a hammer in the hand of God (https://thelifeididntchoose.com/2018/08/25/grief-is-not-a-hammer-in-the-hand-of-god/).
I firmly believe that while God may discipline His true children (see Hebrews 12:6) all the punishment sin requires has been paid for by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Still, I feel like there are parallels to the famine and devastation Israel faced and the past eighteen months of my life.
One “disaster” after another. One herculean challenge after another. One hill to climb after another. And with each new hard thing, I find my reserves are fewer and fewer.
Nothing-NOTHING-rises to the level of sending Dominic ahead to Heaven.
But that one giant, life-altering, earth shattering, heartbreaking event has weakened my defenses. It has made me more prone to wearing down and giving up than I’ve ever been in my life.
My faith is intact.
I have absolutely no doubt that every promise of God in Christ is “yes” and “amen”.
I trust the truth that all the enemy has stolen will be restored. Every sad thing will be undone. The world (including my own family) will be redeemed, restored and raised to life in Christ. When I pass my son’s grave facing east, I know one day the skies will open and Jesus will return as triumphant King over all creation.
Even so I am weary and heavy laden.
I take the burden to the foot of the cross over and over and over.
Just as I think the weight is lifted, another heavy brick is added to the load.
Sometimes you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Other times you just have to trust in the dark.
Sometimes the trial is limited. Other times it goes on and on and on.
But I know, know, know God is faithful.
His love endures forever.
And even when I find myself in the midst of spiritual famine, desolation and desperation, He will meet me there.
So I wait.
Holding on to hope.
Looking for the promised bounty.
Trusting that He will redeem, restore and resurrect.