Everything lost God can replace. Everything lost God wants to replace.
This thought came up a couple of times in our Second Tuesday Prayer meeting at church last night. We were praying over those who were walking in darkness and it came up when we were asking God to restore them. It's a powerful thought.
Through Joel, God promises to restore the years that the locusts have eaten. Locusts are nasty little bugs, destroying and devouring all sorts of livelihoods - crops, vineyards, etc. They were often seen as a plague of judgment. Indeed, in Joel's context, they were judgment by God on the people for their idolatry.
But yet this glorious promise: God will restore. He's that kind of God. Marriage relationships. Parental relationships. Spiritual relationships. Neighbors. Brothers. Sisters. Children. Employees. Employers. That is what God wants to do.
The warning and condition: repentance and return are both necessary. It's not without our work, though God works more. It's not without our effort, though God "deals wondrously with [us]." It's not without our humility, since He opposes the proud. It's not without our prayer, since He demands we call on Him in order for Him to move. It's certainly not within our timing, but it is in His. And the result is "praise [to] the name of the LORD your God."
Repent and return. God desires to restore. Amen.