“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing—grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.
God is compassionate. Do we truly believe that? Sometimes when our troubles threaten to overwhelm us, we question God’s goodness and omnipotence. Verse 13 abruptly emphasizes God’s love in the midst of an otherwise stern rebuke. Joel reminds Israel of the goodness of God, who overflows with grace—despite our waywardness.
Recently I have been learning a cold truth: I really have no control over my life. The more I try to micromanage my future, the more God reminds me of my powerlessness. He shows us our weaknesses because He knows that only surrendering our lives to Him brings us true satisfaction. When I sense myself trying to take control of my life, I know it is time to return to the Lord.
He welcomes me back every time.