Meditations on Dust
The godly are the God-ward—and faced there, they know they are not like what they see. They are not righteous in all their ways; they are not naturally near to the truth; not able to save, able to endure, able to abound in a perfection of goodness and greatness, able to act with self-generated and -sustained power, able to count stars beyond stars, able to reduce rulers to naught or view earth and all therein from on high, with a glance, and weigh it as a piece of dust, a sliver of grass—as nothing.
Turned to Him, how little I like to feel small—to accept small. But that the nations are dust cannot reflect poorly on the Creator, as if finitude were evil. From above, He once called all of this terrestrial ball “good.” If my view to creation were as to the dust, one floating, sailing speck, it would leave my sight as soon as it entered. I might absorb it with the swipe of a rag-holding hand, no misgivings. Who are we that He is mindful of us? This is the kind of mystery in Scripture most perplexing. He decided to love—to set His image upon—miniscule; an amebic sphere contained the incarnation… Yet, not only size is involved—that is not the offense—but small became evil, hateful, proud. Dust acted like it was something. No wonder He laughs (Psalm 2:4). What if my creation were dust? How great is His love for us!
Being small, unable to generate power or increase my own strength, I am weak, fainting, weary, utterly falling, etcetera—list proceeding. And so I wait. I must wait—God-ward. The renewal of His people will certainly come, whether presently or eschatologically—hope will actualize into mounting up, running, and the overall-not-fainting. And we will be saved. But the weak must wait; I must wait. Otherwise, I become a workman who molds an image and realizes a carved abomination. When the weak attempt to generate greatness, we can never alone find a tree unable to rot or a project that is incapable of falling. One breath—one laughing exhale—and He levels the accomplishments of man. I am weak; so, if He does not act—does not heal, does not increase strength, does not give the insight, or the muscles or the words or the voice or the whatever it is I am wanting, I must be the waiting.
Lifted from the finite—waiting toward God sets me at the Word, breathed by inerrant breath. It is standing. And it will forever be—this book that the world contrives is infected with fantasies and tainted [instead of made holy] by hatred. It prevails—this book that I would doubt and despise in spiritual blindness if not for His Spirit. How great His grace! His Word stands; the blade of grass will soon not. What can man say against God’s flawless revelation? Nothing; he can sit beneath, remembering who still measures as you know what on the scales.
Only knowing I am nothing can I see that He upholds my spirit when I fall—preserving me to the end; only when bowed can I see how and in what manner I am raised up to know Him; only when I am hungry can I receive His timely food; only in want can I know the wonder of His Word. I want to be infinitely low, and know His unfathomable grace; my voice to cry for help, and know His kind deliverance; my eyes to look upon Him with love, and see some of the unsearchable greatness and beyond-measure glory. He, He, He—the cause of all being held together, sustained every day. He—righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His words, full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy—He is good to all. What is the strength of my soul? His nearness, that I might receive all I can of who He is and what He gives, worshiping Him for both, for always.
Three words emerge from the dust—wait, Word, and worship. Being one who is nothing before God, I must wait for Him—for His strength in my inner spirit, resting within the hiding place of His peace during temptations, while He unveils one next detail of His mind for me and mine. And before His Word—I receive there—the bread, the high, heavenly bread raining here, as upon the grass for prime collection. And in worship, whatever is done, accomplished, and gained—God alone is great. With that, dust contents itself as such and can move along glorying in God being God—and is now being swept up for all existence in Him.
I believe Jonathan Edwards used this phrase, although I cannot now locate the quotation.
This post was originally published at For The Church.