I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten– the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you. ~ Joel 2:25
When God Redeems He Always Makes Improvements
In September of 2003, Jason and I were at a rocky point in our dating relationship, and in fact were on the verge of calling it quits. I told him at the beginning of the month to keep the last Saturday free for a surprise date. A few days before the event, he said he was going to go out of town that weekend and asked to reschedule. Disappointed I revealed I had tickets to see the show Riverdance. Jason enjoyed their music and dancing, but he had never seen them live. As a result of hearing the plans he quickly said, “Well, I guess I can stay in town.”
The show was enjoyable, but I knew it was the show, and not me, that kept Jason interested in that date. We also were sitting so far back it was not the best view. Needless to say, Riverdance isn’t my favorite date night memory.
That is until God Recently Redeemed it.
Several months ago I saw that Riverdance was coming back in town, and on Jason’s birthday no less. I booked a babysitter and purchased tickets the day they went on sale. I was looking forward to the show but especially excited about getting a do-over for this particular date.
Two days before Jason’s birthday I came down with a terrible case of the stomach flu. Seriously, I am not sure I have ever been that ill, and I was worried we wouldn’t be able to make it. The day of the show I stayed in bed until it was almost time to leave. Jason kept asking if we needed to cancel, but I was determined to make it work. Despite feeling weak, I was ready to celebrate.
On the drive, I pulled out the tickets and my joy quickly faded.
They were for the night before.
I couldn’t believe I had made such an error! Somehow, I had purchased tickets for the wrong night. I apologized to Jason for wasting our money and not planning his birthday well. He showed an incredible amount of grace and seemed okay with a change in plans for the evening. I confessed to him that I was hoping for this to be a chance to redeem our previous Riverdance experience, and he suggested we go down to the venue to see if they had any seats still available. We prepared ourselves for the reality that we might have to sit in the very back and pay twice.
We walked up to the will call and told our story about having tickets to the last night’s show. The sweet lady quickly said, “Let me see what I can do for you.” She returned with new tickets for us. Seats we didn’t have to pay for, and to our surprise, they were dead center in the very front row. I smiled all night as I reflected on the fact that
When God redeems Something, He doesn’t just restore it; He makes it better.
Earlier in the book of Joel, we read about some of the destruction these locusts have caused.
What the locust swarm has left
the great locusts have eaten;
what the great locusts have left
the young locusts have eaten;
what the young locusts have left
other locusts have eaten.
At the sight of them, nations are in anguish;
every face turns pale.
They charge like warriors;
they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,
not swerving from their course.
They do not jostle each other;
each marches straight ahead.
They plunge through defenses
without breaking ranks.
They rush upon the city;
they run along the wall.
They climb into the houses;
like thieves they enter through the windows.
To think that our God, out of His abounding love, repaid the people for the years (plural!) the locust had eaten. He didn’t have to, but he chose to. In John chapter 9, Jesus heals a man who had been blind from birth. He redeemed the man’s situation so that the works of God will be on display through him. The blood of Jesus doesn’t just forgive our sins (although that is more than we deserve), but it gives us the opportunity to become co-heirs with Christ and the chance to call ourselves children of God (Romans 8:17). And since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever we can be confident that God is still in the redeeming business.
When God Redeems, He Goes Above and Beyond
My Riverdance example is little and insignificant, but it is a good picture of what God does in all situations. A separation, the unfortunate diagnosis, being let go from work, or the death of a dream. Anything that you might experience that seems like a nail in the coffin is an opportunity to pave the way for God to demonstrate His greatest work. God doesn’t just restore something to its original state, but he turns it into something greater! What incredible news for the areas in which we struggle as women and wives! This truth sends a refreshing breeze over otherwise stagnant areas we keep concealed.
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. ~ Luke 1:68
What in your life has God redeemed? Is there any area you are still waiting on Him to redeem?