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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Years. The Locusts. X 7

Well, at least I get to be out of my office for 3 hours this afternoon, even if I'm going to have to sit through some very boring meetings, was my thought as I lugged my laptop, bottle of water, and phone to a comfortable auditorium seat in the middle of the room. I'd heard these speakers before and from my foggy recollection, they hadn't stood out as particularly interesting, so I was ready to spend some focused time organizing my rather-full work inbox.

An hour later, the gentleman had finished speaking and I had managed to whittle my inbox from 950 emails down to 875. I used the break to get some letters signed by my boss and then settled down for what I thought would be another couple of hours of similarly-styled lecture. It was not as dull as I'd thought but I hadn't heard anything particularly new. Til the woman stood up to speak.

Now, I can't tell you exactly what she talked about, though I recorded her talk to listen to again later. All I know is that I sat spellbound, my monitor dark, as I heard story after story about how God had worked miracles in the life of a woman who I'd always imagined had it all together but in reality was as human as I. I'd planned with a friend to go to an opera concert at a nearby university that evening, but we both agreed to skip it and stay for the evening prayer meeting. Her brother agreed, encouraging us that there would always be more concerts but it would be better to stay.

The prayer meeting lasted nearly 2 hours but time didn't settle into boredom as once again, the couple spoke about how God had shown up in very individual ways to them and to others. I began to recall stories in my own life even as I longed to have more of the experiences they were speaking of. What I had thought was going to be yet another set of standard-issue meetings had turned into an oasis that was quenching a very thirsty soul. I had been longing for several weeks to be reminded that God had everything under control and the words I heard were exactly what I needed.

7 times in John 15-16, Jesus reminds the disciples that they can ask for whatever they want in His name and it will be granted to them. Later, we read the verse in Joel 2 where it says that God will give back what the locusts have taken. Other encouraging verses include Jeremiah 33 where God says if we call on Him, He will answer, and Isaiah 55 where we are told that God's thoughts and ways are beyond what we can imagine.

Every time I try to accomplish something on my own, I get frustrated and I get stuck. Every time I give up and ask God to take over, sometimes without even being able to express it in words but simply am weary of trying, God brings such joy to my heart that I cannot hold it all. God knew I needed to stay tonight to hear the words He was waiting to speak to me. He knew I needed to be reminded that He pursues my heart and is longing to spend quality time with me. He knew that my decision to stay would be rewarded in a special way that I would not orchestrate but would remind me how very much He wanted to see me happy.

Yes, the locusts have taken away years I wish I could reclaim. Yet, just as Job remained faithful to God and in the end was rewarded in this life with twice as much as before, I am claiming the many promises God has given that if I ask according to His will He will grant my heart's desire. The desire doubled in joy to compensate for the years of the locusts. He has promised and He will answer.

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