“And I will restore to you the years which the swarming locust has eaten, the locust larvae, and the stripping locust, and the cutting locust, My great army which I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25 MKJV)

When we were young we dreamed. When we were asked what we were going to be when we grew up, we knew the answer. We grew. We made choices. Our lives made turns. We reacted to events. Our lives again turned. At some point we discovered our lives were not our own.

In a recent interview with talk-show host Larry King, actor/author Sidney Poitier spoke about the things in his life he couldn’t explain. He used an analogy of a man who, after getting into his car, realizes he forgot his keys. It takes 17 seconds to return to his house to retrieve them. At that same time another man miles away is leaving his house. Both arrive at an intersection. The man delayed arrives 17 seconds late, avoiding a collision. Mr. Poitier acknowledges “luck” in his experience of life.

Many people believe they’re lucky. Often some people acknowledge “someone” must be watching over them. We who know Y’shuaJesus know the truth. This truth set us free to live. This truth we share through victorious living. We took to heart what the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, and we fled from youthful passions and pursued righteousness (2Tim2:22). We faced persecutions for the righteous choices we made, as was foretold by Y’shuaJesus and by Paul. These persecutions altered our lives. Our lives again turned leaving us even farther from our childhood dreams and desires. Events like the 17-second delay conspired to alter our course for good, but what delays altered it from an outcome that might glorify our Lord? Did we lay aside G-dly talents in our pursuit of purity? Did we turn from G-dly opportunities though misunderstandings? We are not infallible. In turning from youthful passions of the flesh, did we also leave behind passions that were given to exalt and glorify G-d? When we began weeding the garden of our living, did we pull out desirable plants? Were there swarming locusts in our gardens eating talents we could use to bless others?

We are called to examine ourselves. I love how Paul wrote to Timothy, “Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6 HCSB) The English Standard Version (ESV) states “fan into flames.” We are called to sharpen any dulled passions and gifts for the work of G-d.

Thank You, G-d, most gracious and holy. As You say, restore to us the years the locust have eaten, that we might glorify You. Be praised, O G-d. Let us hear Your voice, and courageously follow You. Enable us to keep ablaze the gifts You’ve given, and to live victoriously in demonstration of Your victory. In the Name of Y’shuaJesus, our Lord and Saviour, AMEN.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .