“The Lord says, ‘I will give you back what you lost to the stripping locusts, the cutting locusts, the swarming locusts, and the hopping locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.'” ~ Joel 2:25, NLT
Four kinds of locusts, four kinds of harm and desolation. Four ways to think about the damage evil is allowed to do to us and those we love from within and without. To me though, knowing that God sent it would be completely devastating without tempering that knowledge with the fact that God loves us and has a purpose in everything.
The stripping locusts take from us what we love or what we need. What has been taken from you? Was it your innocence as a child? Your loved one? Health? When things are taken from us, that are part of us, little pieces like bites are taken out of our hearts.
The cutting locusts take away our bearings, leave us swaying without a foundation. Circumstances out of our control make us feel like broken twigs tossed about only to be crushed underfoot. Pieces of our lives lie scattered, disorganized, unrecognizable.
The swarming locusts are the outside stresses that dog pile everyday. They fly so thick you can’t breathe without swallowing a mouthful and choking. The air is black and blinding. You can’t even move.
The hopping locusts are the redundant, repetitive annoyances that just won’t go away. If it happens ONE MORE TIME you will lose it. Or if it happens ONE MORE DAY you don’t think you can take it.
Lastly, I don’t know why the locusts are sent. It makes me think of Job who also wondered why. His “friends” said his calamities were all his fault, a judgment against him. God never told him the reason. When God did speak, it was of his greatness as Creator. That was Job’s answer. That was enough. In other words, He is enough.
I pray right now that God will restore what the locusts have eaten in your life. If not soon, may you have the grace and strength to endure, which is also given by the One who restores and redeems. He is enough.