Friday, January 13, 2017


A few more thoughts about those noisy, nuisance grasshoppers. Primarily they destroy by eating. I can't seem to find a single redeeming quality about them. God used them to get the attention of His people in Old Testament times and then left them, and us, with a positive promise of restoration in the face of impossibility.

In our day and in our lives we also encounter grasshoppers of a personal nature. They come to us in the form of habits that eat up our time, consume our energy, and cause us to squander our opportunities. We may think we can domesticate them and make them pets. At least my best friend Dot and I in our childhood days, probably as kindergartners, tried to do that. We would capture a few large specimens and put them into what used to be cigar boxes back in the Depression era, the late thirties of the past century.

In those days it was common for men to freely smoke cigars, probably imported from Cuba, and they would buy cigars by the wooden box. When emptied, they were great for all kinds of things like holding our crayons, our favorite rocks, baby frogs, and other kid-collectibles. Some people even used the boxes to make homemade guitars.

Dot and I used the boxes for houses for our personal grasshoppers. To this day I remember that I called my hopper King Edward and Dot called hers Habana. My guess is that those were brands of cigars back then! We punched holes in the lids for air and played out our own dramas with the hoppers. We fed them greens, laughed to see their almost human looking faces and watched them “spit” like tobacco. We got emotionally attached to our pets and were reluctant to let them go, although most often they hopped right out of the boxes when we peeked at them.

We can't domesticate grasshoppers. They persist in doing what they do—devour and destroy what is not theirs. We can't make pets out of our wasteful habits however attached we have become to them or to our time consuming, trivial pursuits. Each of us knows what they are in our own lives—the useless things that occupy our days and months and years that we wish could be redeemed. If we believe God's lavish promise, in His love and mercy they can be redeemed!
In my most recent book that has just rolled off the press,
 Psalms of My Harvest, is my poem below: 
Hungry Grasshoppers.”

It wasn't a ferocious monster
of insatiable appetite
that wantonly gobbled up
the best years of my life
and caused me tears of regret
and fears of wasted years,
it was grasshoppers—
insignificant time consumers:
grasshoppers of trivial activity
devourers of hours
chewing up my worthwhile pursuits.

They nibbled noiselessly
squandering my days
posing no early threat and yet
they swarmed and stripped
and crunched and munched
gnawing into my precious time
destroying in their wake
all that they could chew
leaving me in a desolate daze
surveying the havoc
with stupefied gaze.

Can those expired years
be irretrievably consumed?
Are they long gone
through the digestive systems
or irksome insects?

Oh Hallelujah!
The God of the impossible
can reverse the ravages of time!
He Who created can recreate!
He Who made the new can renew
and regenerate! God Who breathed
upon primeval emptiness
and brought forth life can “restore
the years the locust hath eaten”
and MORE!

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