If you’re tempted to believe that your past or present is robbing you of your future, take heart, and listen to Joel instead. For Joel there’s no such thing as a past loss or failure that can withstand the abundant opportunity of the present and the future. No such thing as permanent, irreversible damage.
And Peter was bold enough to believe and to preach in Acts chapter 2 that the words of Joel’s prophecy were fulfilled on the first Pentecost after Jesus’ departure. So we don’t have to wait for some end of time eschatological event. But we do wait in hope for the day when all will see the divine presence in the present; the Spirit has been poured out on All flesh. Our present hope bears witness to that reality.
“O children of Zion, be glad
and rejoice in the Lord your God;
for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the later rain, as before.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain,
the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent against you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again
be put to shame.
I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”