I’ve got a lot of favourite verses in the Bible. “I have been young, and now I am old, and yet I have never seen the Lord’s faithful begging bread” (Psalm 37:25) springs to mind. “He that has begun a good work will complete it” (Philippians 1:6) is another favourite. But there was a verse that was especially significant to me around the time I was just getting to know that Christ died for me.

Among the few things that I am not too proud of in my life is the fact that I flunked my first year at Carleton University in Ottawa. I was too young and having way too much fun. In those days failing meant you had to wait two years before applying again as a mature student. Somehow those two years turned into four, and although I got to see a lot of the world during those years and had a lot of unforgetable and formative experiences, I began to wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t ‘tuned in and dropped out’, as the saying went in those days.

After my salvation I found this verse from Joel 2:25 to be a great comfort: “The Lord will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten”. When I read that verse I did what countless Christians have done when the Bible speaks to them: I claimed that verse as a promise from God and trusted Him to bring it about in my life, to make it real. And that is exactly what He has done. My life with Christ has been a wonderfully rewarding adventure and now here I am at sixty, and I can say without question that the Lord has restored to me all those lost years. He has made me productive in ways that I never imagined and has given me strength of purpose and body to continue to serve Him in a greater way than I dreamed possible. Locusts of doubt and dissipation, despair and disapproval once ate up my hope and my future; but God restored to me my dreams, and made them a present living reality.

If that kind of faith strikes you as a mental crutch, them maybe you need to consider what healing looks like. It’s not a crutch if what Christ has given you are brand new legs that enable you to run instead of crawl through life, and continue to stride forward when you are old. God doesn’t make junk, and His promises aren’t flimsy words. They are something you can build a life upon, something that will sustain you and give you strength. Nor is God done with me yet; in fact I see before me a whole new vista of opportunity and adventure with Him. Here’s another great verse from Revelation 21:5: “Behold, I make all things new!” And I say in response: ‘Bring it on, Lord’.