Freedom From Regret and the “Locust Years”

Remember: there will be prepayment of lost fruit. Regret will fade. Honor will replace shame. Thanks be to God.

regret

History is always a mixed bag. Rarely is it all bad. I have much to be thankful for and rejoice in. Yet sometimes one can’t help look back and recall the crops that were stolen. To mourn what what was lost. To grieve dreams that never came into reality. To wonder what could have been. To live with some intangible sense of regret that you can’t name clearly enough to shake off. To name the shame that comes from barren fields.

As Bill Mallonee sings:

Well, the locust years, they’re making the rounds

And the locust years, they’re coming to your your town

They don’t ask an invite, they just roll on in

Locust years living under your skin

Locust years living under your skin

Well the locust years, always nipping at your heels

And the locust years, they don’t care what they steal

Like weeds taking root, like darkness settling in

Locust years living under your skin

Locust years living under your skin

Well, there’s no one to shoot, what good would it do

No one to blame, nothing left to lose

Well, the locust years, there’s no words on his tongue

And he grins as he passes on his horse made of bones

Like a bird of prey picking you clean

Locust years living under your skin

Locust years living under your skin

“Those Locust Years”

Regret carries an itchiness that nothing seems able to scratch; all that’s left to trust in are promises like this:

“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.

You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,

and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,

who has worked wonders for you;

never again will my people be shamed.

Then you will know that I am in Israel,

that I am the Lord your God,

and that there is no other;

never again will my people be shamed.

(Joel 2:25-27)

There will be prepayment of lost fruit. Regret will fade. Honor will replace shame. Thanks be to God.

 

This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

Rodger Otero
Along with his his, Angela, Rodger is the co-pastor of the Greenleaf Vineyard Church in Chapel Hill, NC. He is a husband-father-musician-pastor just trying to figure this out as he goes. San Diego is the Motherland, but Chapel Hill is Home. He riffs on formation, leadership, and being fully human.