2010: A Year to Restore
Joel 2:18-27 “Then the LORD will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people. The LORD will reply to them: ‘I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations. ‘I will drive the northern army far from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land, with its front columns going into the eastern sea and those in the rear into the western sea. And its stench will go up; its smell will rise.’ Surely he has done great things. Be not afraid, O land; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things. Be not afraid, O wild animals, for the open pastures are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches. Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.’ ”
2009 was a crudtastic year. I’m pretty sure I won’t find a lot of you who will disagree with me. Oh yes, it had its high points, but, by and large, it was, in fact, crudtastic. What I’ve learned, though, through the ick that was 2009, is that God is in the business of restoration. Granted, it is usually not on our timetable, but He is a God of restoration. Look at the children of Israel. Time and time again, they wandered and betrayed the heart of God, and yet His infinite mercy showed love, compassion, and restoration. “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you.” This is my prayer for 2010: that God would restore. I pray He restores joy and hope and peace and relationships. I pray that He replaces worry with satisfaction. I pray that He exchanges the oil of joy for mourning. I pray that 2010 is the year of the Lord’s favor.
Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
Oh Lord, I pray that this year is a testament to Your restorative love. Renew us, draw us near to You. Please, make us a people after Your own heart. Make me a woman after Your own heart. Give me, give us, wisdom to do what’s best. Build in us the ability to be satisfied by You. Thank You for seeing us through last year and through all the moments of our days.
I Peter 5:10-11 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen”