I wrote this post for the 04/13/2020 edition of Special Needs Parents – Key Ministry and wanted to share it with my followers here:
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…” Joel 2:25a
There are a lot of logistical challenges to be found within this “shelter in place” world. Toilet paper is the first that comes to mind, but there are plenty. Having kids home from school for every family I’ve spoken to presents a plethora of challenges. But special needs kids who are home from school and out of their regular routine face more than challenges; they face real, significant loss.
My son Nick has a rare genetic disorder and already in this fairly brief time without school or therapy, he has experienced loss. He has lost some skills and abilities. We have all lost some sleep as the change in routine has caused anxiety to ramp up over these past few weeks. As I contemplated what long-term backsliding would look like and how we would ever be able to make up for the lost time, I remembered a similar story in the Bible.
In Joel, the prophet is telling of a day when the Israelites will soon experience severe loss as the result of a devastating plague! But within the prophecy he instructs them to “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things” (Joel 2:21). The interesting wording a few verses down is what got my attention, and what has become my prayer in this season. God doesn’t say He will restore the crops that were destroyed by the plague of locusts, He says he will “restore to you the years…”
God promises not the natural process of recovery, where the crops start growing again. He promises to restore as if those years hadn’t been lost. That brings me a great promise for my son! God’s Word says that He is able to make it as if this time gap in learning, growing, development, making progress didn’t happen at all. I don’t need to fear that we’ll never get this time back. I can pray and have faith that God will supernaturally restore the years! He’s got this whole thing figured out, and I can take that weight off of my shoulders and put it back at the foot of the cross where He covers it all.
Are we having setbacks right now? Yes! But though my tendency would be to hunker down in my prayers, I am going to level up in my expectations! I will choose to have a bold faith for my son and my family; God will restore this time! We will see His provision and promise, and will be glad and rejoice!
Be encouraged today that whatever short term loss you might be experiencing, God is able to restore it. Joel 2 finishes with this beautiful promise: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions…..And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth…And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered” (Joel 2:28, 30 & 32).