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Seeds of the Kingdom

The locust years

by Paul Lawrence

10 February 2012

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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, NIV

I lost a lot when I was young. Toys mysteriously disappeared. The family split up. Friends were non-existent and sickness was the order of the day. Chunks of time went missing, along with a number of other things that happened.

But it’s amazing what I do remember. One memory is of the time when I was very young and living in Africa. I had two hand-made wooden boats made by my father from a book called ‘Things to make and do’. They were two very different boats. One was an oil tanker painted red and black, about 30cm long. The other was more like a tug boat, with a tall mast at the front and one at the back. This was also painted red and black like the first but was only about 15cm long. I liked these boats.

I used to play with the boats and they would end up in the bath and be bombed by a large piece of soap. After a while the ships crumbled, and one day they were no more.

I left Africa in my twenties with 20kg of luggage and set off on a journey. Years in Britain, China and Ireland all followed the same trend. Things disappeared and everything was always lost or uncontrollably given away.

Fifteen years after leaving Africa the Lord started to work on me. Forgiveness of family, breaking of curses, sins being confessed and being filled with the Holy Spirit all cascaded into my life in a very short time.

Then a few years later I arrived at Ellel Grange to work. One part of my job required me to root around in dark corners discovering things and putting them in the right place. It was while I was on a ‘rooting’ mission one day, in the Computer Server Room of all places, that I opened a metal cupboard. Things were falling out around me but one thing just sat there on the shelf.

It was an oil tanker painted red and black about 30 cm long and in almost new condition. There behind the oil tanker was another boat that looked like a tug boat with a tall mast at the front and one at the back, painted red and black like the oil tanker but only 15cm long. This one was also in almost brand new condition. Time stood still and I couldn’t believe the chances: Millions, no billions to one. I picked them both up in wonder and awe and as I did so my spirit brought forth the words; ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten’ (Joel 2:25).
God never spoke audibly to me that day. He didn’t need to. If He had, that and the boats would have been too much to handle, but I knew in my spirit what He’d done.

It was thousands of miles away, thirty years ago, that instructions from an obscure book had resulted in individually, handmade boats, and now they were restored in a flash and sitting on my office shelf, along with all my lost hopes. What a Father we have!

Our God is the God of the impossible. Time, distance or circumstances are not a barrier to Him restoring, creating or doing the impossible in our lives. We serve the God of the impossible. He is our Father of the impossible and we never need to lose hope, or give up, or think anything is too difficult for Him.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You are a restorer. I bring to You all the areas of my life where it seems hopeless and impossible. I place all this in Your hands and ask for Your miracles today in my situation. Thank You that You do restore the locust years. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Paul Lawrence is the Centre Director at Ellel Grange, UK and is married to Anne, who is the Deputy Centre Director for the Grange. He has lived in Africa for over 20 years and China for 5 years. His passion is to see the Lord do bigger and greater things in peoples lives that they cannot do on their own, not just in healings but also in the fun things of life. His belief is that nothing is ever big enough and as a team we can achieve anything if the Lord is at the centre.

 

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