The other day I talked with a man of God making a re-entry into the pastoral ministry after a hiatus of several years due to severe illness his wife suffered during that time. He was struggling with a false guilt syndrome due to the years long professional blank in his resume.
As we talked a passage from Joel which I have used many times flashed into my mind as he and I talked about this grand verse in Joel 2:25 "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you." The point of our talk was the phrase, "The years that the locusts have eaten." The locusts along with the other destroyers were sent by God as chastisement to His children. When they repented God promised to restore the lost blessing.
The truth is things lost during the time of chastisement will be restored. Our man had not been going through chastisement, but had left the care of the flock to care for his wife, an act God would commend. I told him of Dr. Robertson McQuilkens' letter of resignation from Columbia Bible College to care for his Alzheimers stricken wife and how God has blessed a few million people due to this. (Ask for McQuilkens' letter free). Any loss due to obedience will be restored by Christ.