“O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent against you.
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 again be put to shame.” (Joel 2:23-26)
Last night I did not feel up to the task of writing, especially something that was contrary to my experience of the day. If you follow me on Facebook in real time (as opposed to my writing a week before the day this posts) you would have read that my wallet was stolen. It was a shaky night, and somehow I could not “hear” or respond back to God’s graciousness and bounty. But 48 hours later, having started to establish my “identity” again, and buoyed up by the sentiments of friends and family, I am ready to look at this passage.
It is a wondrous passage. And does speak to my heart with words of comfort. I had gotten as far as “be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God” and said uh-uh, not tonight/Tuesday night. But beyond that portion is vindication and abundant rain, and not just once but twice. There is explanation of that in some streams of biblical exegesis, that there were two rainy seasons (I think) that helped the crops to grow.
I felt a great many emotions last night, and some of them are still running through my thoughts. I am hoping I am on the other side of this experience – beyond the “locusts” et al. But I do not know for sure. The next few days will tell.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. (Verses 27 – 30)
I am looking for the signs of healing in my life from this event. I am grateful that I am moving through this, and I have not felt that I was alone. Somehow in the midst of all the stress and complexities God is smoothing the way. And I am praying for that to continue.
I am learning more about myself, and how I am able to handle these sort of stressful events. It has caused me to think and ponder on a great many things; things I had not thought on before. And I am learning why I do the things I do – reasons that I was not conscious of, but now I am. It is a harsh way to learn about one’s self. And an even harsher way to learn about the “evil” nature of others. But along this journey I have also encountered caring and compassionate people, both those who have sent me messages of cheer and care, and those who I have met as I reconstruct my “public”. And I will survive this!
“The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.” (Verses 31 – 32)