“And I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten…” – Joel 2:25
Restore is a powerful word. The dictionary defines restore as to bring back (a previous right, practice, custom, or situation); reinstate, to bring back to the original state. For me, that is what this Lenten season is about.
Lent is traditionally a season of deep introspection and contemplation. A time wen we think about our lives and our Faith. It is a time of discipline. And I traditionally give up something for Lent, this year it is soft drinks, a guilty pleasure I do so enjoy. Last year I did not give anything up. I figured having to give my father up in death so he could return home to our father was enough. And it was.
This year is different. This year, even in discipline, there is much joy. There is promise, there is restoration. I know that having faith, being disciplined in that faith and being the best version of myself that I can be, I will be restored. The last few years have been about loss, so much heartache. This year, after all the hard work of getting through it is about life, love and all the wonder the world brings with it.
And isn’t that the way it is in life? We work hard, we get through the bad, hard times, we have just enough faith to barely having on, and then, it is done. And we are restored. My hart as broken into a thousand peaces, and I got to know very intimately the laws of Loss and Grief and Sadness. Last year I was so empty that I had nothing left in me to give up. Everything, every bit of me, every fiber of my being, was being used just to survive and get through.
There comes a time in life, where the pendulum swings in the other direction and the table turn, and your life is returned back to you. When you look up and realize that the baron fields have been replaced with fertile ground, steady ground, to plant and build your life again. Now I am being replenished. Yes, there are still hard moments, I still cry for missing my parents and loved ones so, but my heart is full. Life is good. I am no longer surviving. I am living.
So this Lent is meaningful and joyful in so many ways. I am thankful to have enough in me, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, to be able to participate. And in doing so, God is restoring me and returning those years that I lost. It is said that you cannot turn back time or get it back in any way, and in many ways that is true. But what you can do is make your come back, so to speak. You can appreciate much more, do more, be more than you were before.
And when your life is returned to you, even though that time has passed, you see that you really haven’t missed anything. Life, love and all that they encompass, were right there waiting for you all along. And because you missed them, you have a deeper understanding and appreciation of them.
I am looking forward to the restoration, already under way. And I am thankful for it.