I have a confession to make.
Sometimes I see guys my age (or younger!) who have lived tremendously fruitful lives of devotion to the Lord. God has blessed and multiplied their ministry, and used them in powerful ways to advance his kingdom. It makes me sad.
It isn’t jealousy. Far from it! I rejoice whenever I see the cause of Christ magnified through another brother! No, what makes me sad is the feeling of regret that I wasted so much time earlier in life. I look back on the hours (more like days, months, or even years) wasted on video games and other forms of fruitless entertainment, and I think of what might have been. What might God have done with my life had I devoted that time to studying the Word, reading books, or developing the musical talents he gave me? How many wasted opportunities for ministry will I never know about?
But even those thoughts are sinful. Those days and moments are past, and dwelling on them in the present only limits what I can do in the future. I rejoice that God has changed me, and that I can spend the rest of my time on this Earth glorifying him with my life!
Today in my reading I came upon a passage that really encouraged me. It’s from Joel 2:25
“I will restore to you the years that the… locust has eaten.”
I don’t want to get hyper-spiritual and claim this as a personal promise made to me (it is a specific promise made to restore the people of Judah after an event mentioned earlier in the book), but I do take comfort in it. The context of this promise is restoration following the “Day of the Lord”, and reminds me that one day (maybe soon!) Jesus will return to set right all that went wrong at the Fall.
Every sin will be forgotten, and I will be engaged in never-ending fruitfulness, worshiping at the feet of my Savior. The wasted years will be restored; totally insignificant in the light of eternity. Hallelujah!