Ghosts and Locusts

Ravenous locusts blackened the air,
grinding forest and field to grist,
flooding destruction over the land;
a sudden tsunami of deep despair.

Sorrow now rises up as a mist,
slender fingers of an unseen hand
gather into a ghostly fist
that grips my throat like an iron band,
chokes back my grief, my sobs desist.

Head hung heavy with disbelief,
I seek the solace of troubled sleep.

Then in the night, a song, unbidden,
soothes my soul, blessed messenger, unseen,
brings flowers forth from the soil of despair.

Hope restored, I awake, fear bestridden,
and before daylight dissolves the dream,
the lyrics of the song still float upon the air

Reminding me of Joel’s prophecy
that the Lord will restore,
and supply even more.

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten… You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.”

The book of the prophet Joel, Chapter 2, verses 25, 26

Do what you will, foul fiends –
dread army of pestilent ghosts.
You spread but small, crawling shadows
ahead. Lost in the vast scope of eternity.
Don’t you see? You labor in futility.

Each cut and tear, a small pare,
used by the Husbandman to remove
what was uncomely in His sight,
making room for the growth
that He will approve –
the kind that will eternally bear,
displaying His glory and His might.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

Jesus, as recorded in John, Chapter 15, verses 1-2


Several weeks ago I suffered a big setback in my chronic pain condition after having made what felt like real progress. I went to bed thoroughly discouraged, and slept poorly from the dramatically increased pain and frazzled nerves.

In the morning I awoke with the chorus of the song “Beyond Compare” by Dennis Jernigan(1) going through my mind on repeat, and it was like a heaven-sent message of encouragement to my soul. An encouragement that has helped sustain me through the last seven weeks of pain, panic attacks, and sleepless nights by reminding me to see my present trials in the light of eternity.

All of God’s wonderful covenant promises are “yes” in Christ Jesus. Despite our best efforts, this life and these bodies will soon end in death and decay, but one word from the Lord Jesus and this body will be raised incorruptible and full of joy at the Last Day, along with all who long for His appearing.

(1)Beyond Compare” by Dennis Jernigan, from the album “I Surrender,” released by “Here to Him Records” in 2001.

© Craig Sabin 2022 All rights reserved

Image courtesy of Max Pixel, CC0 Public Domain

19 thoughts on “Ghosts and Locusts

  1. Craig, sorry to hear of your health setback. Glad that you found comfort and encouragement in the song Beyond Compare. It was a heaven-sent message. It made me think of the bible verse: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
    I am saying prayers for you; for relief of pain, comfort to replace panic attacks, and God’s peace to surround you and let you sleep. Blessings! 🙏✝️🌺

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for sharing this “divine perspective” on pain, Craig. Your poem evokes all the emotions, and then the song the Lord gave you is like a soothing balm on a wounded soul. (I love when He does that.) Praying for you.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m quite happy to do so. My life has been blessed by his ministry of music to the body of Christ. I find it interesting that while remaining in relative obscurity many of his songs are sung and recognized around the world, while many Christian artists of less “consequence” seem to enjoy more worldly accolades. Perhaps this exposes how much of mainstream “Christian” music is really about fame and money. He has also long taken the bold and quite unpopular stand that the LGBTQ lifestyle is ungodly and that God, in His mercy, delivered him out of that. These days that’s a guaranteed formula for rejection by the world.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “Perhaps this exposes how much of mainstream “Christian” music is really about fame and money.” Yes indeed brother. Mostly performances!
        Dennis Jernigan’s music is true ministry and has often spoken to my heart. I believe that God shielded him from reaching ‘celebrity status’, keeping him pure to minister to the Body of Christ.
        Thank you again Craig, the fruits of your suffering have eternal value.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Brother, I’m so sorry to hear of your long suffering. But I’m so grateful for your courage to share and your surrender to the Lord. Because of that, the gifts of God flow through you and so edify His people.
    Thank you for another deep expression of God’s presence, this one through the long night.
    Will be praying for you Craig. 🌱

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Lisa Beth, for your words of encouragement. I know that things will improve and I know that the Lord is wise and that His purposes are good toward His beloved chosen. I do appreciate your prayers. Blessings to you and your husband and family!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I always shiver when I learn how much pain we can endure when we rest in the arms of our God. I hope he gives you peace and extra rest as you rest in him!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amen, thank you, that is my hope also and I trust that He is faithful and a Good Shepherd, no matter what or how things may seem. It is truly a mercy that we cannot see the future. If we could see the trials we would face ahead of time we would be overwhelmed and discouraged. Thus Jesus admonition not to worry about tomorrow since each day has enough trouble of its own. Thank you for your kind comment, Jennifer.


  5. Craig there is such depth and vulnerable rawness in this poem that it was palpable… yet also so much hope!
    Praise God for His heaven sent encouragement at just the right moment.
    Will be praying for you. 🙏

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow, Jo, you have a gift for expression and what a powerful encouragement. The Lord knows just what we need and when, bless His Name. Thank you for your prayers. The Lord is so good. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. but one word from the Lord Jesus and this body will be raised incorruptible and full of joy at the Last Day, along with all who long for His appearing….

    How beautiful this will be, may we all see the eternal perspective…

    Especially in our deep trials and the things we can’t understand

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, Gean! This world has so many distractions that I often lose sight of the eternal perspectives, but my trials have a way of returning my focus to where it belongs.
      Blessing to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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