Sometimes in life an event shakes us to the core. It could be a sudden death or the shock of a diagnosis of a terminal illness. It could be a natural disaster such as a flood, earthquake or fire. These things have a huge impact on us and can send out shockwaves that can rock every corner of our world. We can end up feeling lost, stuck, overwhelmed and vulnerable. However the good news is that this doesn’t have to define us. The adversity can be used as a crucible or a refining fire in our lives. In fact it can herald a new beginning where what’s truly important to us becomes more crystal clear.
I’ve spent a good part of the past 5 months reflecting on the life of my mum. I adored her and she was taken suddenly by an illness. I have regrets. I gave myself permission to feel the pain, confusion, shock and anger of my sudden loss. It brought to mind other losses.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. (Joel 2:25).
Today I received comfort and wisdom from these penned words of the great English Baptist preacher C.H. Spurgeon.
“Yes, those wasted years over which we sigh shall be restored to us. God can give us such plentiful grace that we shall crowd into the remainder of our days as much of service as will be some recompense for those years of unregeneracy over which we mourn in humble penitence. The locusts of backsliding, worldliness, luke warmness, are now viewed by us as a terrible plague. Oh, that they had never come near us! The Lord in mercy has now taken them away, and we are full of zeal to serve Him. Blessed be his name, we can raise such harvests of spiritual graces as shall make our former barrenness to disappear. Through rich grace we can turn to account our bitter experience and use it to warn others. We can become the more rooted in humility, childlike dependence, and penitent spirituality by reason of our former shortcomings. If we are the more watchful, zealous, and tender, we shall gain by our lamentable losses. The wasted years, by a miracle of love, can be restored. Does it seem too great a boon? Let us believe for it and live for it, and we may yet realize it, even as Peter became all the more useful a man after his presumption was cured by his discovered weakness. Lord, aid us by Thy grace.”