It was Christmas day.
I do not recall my exact age but guesstimate I was in upper grade school.
The rest of the family had dispersed leaving me by myself.
I was sitting in the living room surrounded by the gifts I had received from my family.
Everything I had asked for had been received.
Yet, I was disillusioned.
My mother happened to come down the hallway that led to the living room and noticed me.
She quietly sat down beside me and asked why I seemed disappointed.
I do not recall my exact response to her at the time.
But I have never forgotten that feeling.
The feeling of getting everything I asked for yet sensing an emptiness.
Have you ever experienced a sense of emptiness after receiving something you wanted or even needed?
If you have been following along recently you will know that we have been working through the book of Joel from the Old Testament.
The opening verse of the book tells us that it is a message from the Lord through His prophet Joel.
Joel 1:2-2:11 describe in detail the sufferings the Judeans had been experiencing: multiple locust infestations causing severe famine followed by drought and even fire.
Joel 2:12-17 reveals a possibility of hope to the community if they would only return wholeheartedly to their relationship with the Lord.
Joel 2:18-27 describe the Lords response to their implied return to relationship with him in the sense of His promising to restore abundantly to them all they had lost materially in food and their agricultural-based economy.
But the Lord knows that material restoration is not truly adequate for us.
What else is there beyond food and economical means?
Read Joel 2:28:
ESV Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
Pause for a moment and truly let this verse above sink into your heart, soul, and mind.
What does the Lord promise in Joel 2:28?
The Lord is promising to pour out His Spirit on the Judeans.
Their sons will receive the Lord’s Spirit and prophesy.
Their daughters will also receive the Lord’s Spirit and prophesy.
Old and young alike are included in this promised outpouring of the Lord’s Spirit.
Do you comprehend how extraordinary this promise is from the Lord?
Even though the Lord had rescued them from slavery in Egypt, given them a spiritual governor in Moses, guided them by day and night with a pillar of cloud or column of fire, sent manna from heaven and then quail as well, the people grumbled.
He was providing them everything they needed physically to make the journey before them. Their shoes and clothes did not wear out for forty years (see Deut 8:4).
He fed them.
He protected them.
He directed them.
The Lord knew then as He does in Joel that food and economic stability are not enough.
He had given His Spirit to Moses and then seventy elders to help Moses, but His plan was grander than this.
We need to reach a turning point spiritually where we understand relationship with Him is more important than food or economics.
My prayer for you and me today is:
ESV Proverbs 30:8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, 9 lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
May we feed on His Spirit that He has promised to all who believe so that we will remain faithfully diligent and deeply blessed with our Lord’s presence in our midst!
PS. That Christmas years ago was a turning point for me regarding “things”. I was realizing that getting “things” for Christmas was not the most important part of life. I hope you had a marvelously blessed Christmas not in that you received “things”, but that you deeply reflected and cherished the gift that is freely given. (See John 14.)
When was your turning point? Let me know in the comments!
Share this with others!
- Names and Their Meaning: Joel 1:1
- Breaking News : Joel 1:2
- Sharing Stories : Joel 1:3
- Current Crisis : Joel 1:4
- Shortages Today : Joel 1:5
- Gone Viral : Joel 1:6
- Vulnerable: Joel 1:7
- Heartbreak: Joel 1:8
- Cut Off: Joel 1:9
- What is Essential? Joel 1:10
- Shame, Distress, or Despair Joel 1:11
- What is Joy? Joel 1:12
- Dressing for Spiritual Leadership Joel 1:13
- Crying Out Joel 1:14
- Perspectives and Opinions Joel 1:15
- Emotions Joel 1:16
- Neglect Joel 1:17
- Even the Sheep Suffer Joel 1:18
- Fire Joel 1:19
- Soul Thirst Joel 1:20
- It’s Coming! Joel 2:1
- Thunderstorms Joel 2:2
- Hard Times Joel 2:3
- Power Joel 2:4-5
- Overwhelmed Joel 2:6
- Action Joel 2:7-9
- Earthquake and Eclipse Joel 2:10
- Endurance Joel 2:11
- Hope or Despair Joel 2:12
- Sincerity Joel 2:13-14
- Call to Attention Joel 2:15
- Purpose Joel 2:16
- Compromised Reputation Joel 2:17
- To Take Pity Joel 2:18
- Satisfied Joel 2:19
- Greatness Joel 2:20
- Be Glad and Rejoice Joel 2:21
- Gardening Excitement Joel 2:22
- The Joy of Rain Joel 2:23
- A Feast of Thanksgiving Joel 2:24
- Promise Joel 2:25
- Plenty Joel 2:26
- Are You Convinced Joel 2:27