Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming.
It is close at hand—
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness.
Like dawn spreading across the mountains…
Joel 2: 1b-2a
How can we prepare for the darkness of what is coming? It is so close at hand. We know our death is inevitable, that our return to dust is a given, yet we tremble in fear at that awareness. Even God Himself, praying in the Garden before His arrest, faced the inevitability of His death with painful anguish. As one of us, locked in our flesh, His heart beating and bleeding, He experienced doubt, acknowledged abandonment, knew betrayal. God forsaken of God.
Overwhelmed by the army of locusts descending in the cloud as described in this Chapter of Joel, our darkness has become His darkness.
Only one who knows that suffering can lead us out of the gloom into the dawn of a new day, into a new life.
“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.