Dust

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Psalms 103:13-14

Oh Lord, how you must shake Your head at us sometimes! We are so fickle. So glibly we offer You praise on a fine Sunday morning, claim to believe in You, profess our undying love in song, and then we walk out the doors.  Back in the real world, we harbor resentful thoughts towards our husbands, we complain about the volume or the temperature in church, we snap at our children for being children, we mutter angrily at being cut off on the interstate, and all the while we are smugly certain that we are really rather mature, spiritually.

Rather than looking so hard at others, would we not do well to look carefully at ourselves? Naturally, we do need to discern between good and evil in this world where the enemy of our souls is working tirelessly to blur the lines. However, if we walk closely each day with the Light of the world, we find that lines that seemed dim in the twilight are stark in the radiance of His presence.

And so, as we walk in this brilliance, let us turn our eyes to ourselves. In the light where the stain of evil is readily apparent, how do our own garments look? Do our words to others throughout the week harmonize with that Sunday tune of praise and belief? Do we face financial challenge with blessings to our Provider on our lips, hearts in full assurance that the God who clothes the grass in such splendid array will take care of our needs, too? Does our internal dialog reflect an attitude of reverence and worship, continuing the hymn of adoration throughout each moment of the week no matter what trials or triumphs await us?

Ah, God! Teach us not to become so distracted by this world! Train our hearts to gaze on Your face, letting our little idols of self crumble from neglect. Though the darkness looms, seeming to press against us, remind us not to fear, for Your light cannot be quenched by it. Help us to truly become doers of Your Word, not just those who hear and remain as unmoved and unmovable as stones. Fill us with Your love by which Yeshua said the world would know that we are His disciples. Set a guard on our lips so that they may  not speak against a brother or judge a brother, nor speak bitter or hateful words at all. Better yet, Father, purify our hearts so that there is no bitterness nor any other evil within which can taint our speech or spoil our actions. 

And God? Father? Thank You for calling us Your children. Thank You for remembering that we are dust as we daily battle against our flesh and our sin nature, winning some battles but losing others. Thank You that You are patient with us, that You have compassion on us as we stumble and stagger along the narrow road, often forgetting to use the Lamp you have given us to see by. Teach us, Lord, as we go along to become more faithful and please increase our faith in You. Let us be children who trust in our Father implicitly; not foolish children who scamper off on our own way but wise children who listen in adoration, who obey from hearts swelling with love.  And while we are being loved by You, reveling in Your patience with our failures and Your compassion for our meager efforts, give our hearts the wisdom to show that same patience and compassion with our brothers and sisters.  Thank You in the name of our Messiah, Your Son and our King, amen. 

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