He Remembers That We Are Dust

Do you ever have that moment when you wake up and a song is on your mind? This morning when I awoke, that was the case. It was a song by Kelly Willard. It was a popular chorus in the 80s. It is called the Cares Chorus. Here are the lyrics:

I cast all my cares upon You
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet
And any time I don’t know what to do
I will cast all my cares upon You

(Words and music by Kelly Willard, ©1978 Maranatha Praise, Inc.)

I thought it was odd that such an old song would pop into my mind. Then, before I could even get a cup of coffee poured, one of my own songs came to mind. It was the song “Stumble” from my last CD project. The chorus says this:

I am only human, not some hero of the faith
I’m merely an example of God’s mercy and his grace
I keep my eyes on Jesus when my gains become a loss
As I stumble to the cross

I sat down with my cup of coffee, and then another lyric came to mind. This time the lyric was from a song that is thousands of years old. It was written by David, one of my favorite song writers of all time. This is what he wrote:

“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” (Psalm 103:13-14, ESV).

I think God was trying to say something to me through all of these lyrics. I think he simply wanted to remind me that it is okay to just be “Tim”. I know that sounds odd, but let me explain.

In the past few months, I’ve been dealing with many challenges behind the scenes. It may surprise you to know that many times I have found myself anxious, worried, or discouraged. I’ve had long conversations with God about it, and sometimes I find it difficult to hear him speaking back to me. I even get frustrated with him sometimes.

With social media, it is easy to give the impression that everything is exciting and positive in our lives. We are quick to share exciting news and hope that others will celebrate with us the victories in life. But we are often hesitant to share our struggles. I am as guilty of this as anyone. If we are not careful, we can be quick to share our spiritual victories, and slow to share our weaknesses. Yet our human weakness is the element that is common to all of us.

I think this morning God was saying to me, “Tim, it is okay to be human. I understand your weakness. I know the anxious thoughts that you have. I know the times you struggle to trust me. It is okay. I remember that you are dust. I’ll be God, and you can just be Tim. That’s alright with me.”

God understands that I am only human. He remembers that I am dust. This is a great encouragement to me. Though I long to respond as I know I should, many times I find my heart is anxious instead of trusting. I want to fix my situation. I want to make it work. If only I try harder. But rarely does this change anything. Instead, I need to surrender to his care.

I am grateful that I serve a God who understands my humanity. He understands it because he is the one who created me. He formed mankind from the dust of the earth. He breathed life into his creation. It is his breath that breathes in me. I am who I am because his hands formed me, and he never forgets this fact. He remembers that we are dust.

When I come before God, I can simply be his child. I don’t have to have all the answers. I don’t have to respond correctly. I don’t have to be free from anxiety before coming to him. Instead, I come to him in my humanity. I come to him in my brokenness. I come to him with my concerns. I come to him as his child. When I do, he reaches down and sweeps me up into his arms. He cradles me on his lap, and wipes the smudge of dirt off my cheek with his hand. He pulls me close to himself and runs his fingers through my hair. I am his child. He is my Father. His embrace calms my fears. His voice speaks gently to me, reminding me that he is here. His unconditional love for me overwhelms my concerns.

This is why I love David’s song the most. I cling to the idea that God remembers that we are dust. I need that kind of God. Do you also? Perhaps as you read this, there is something going on in your life as well. You’ve been struggling. The enemy has been whispering in your ear, “You are a failure.” Your humanity is wearing you out. When you awoke this morning, it wasn’t a song lyric that was on your mind. Instead, it was the situation you are facing at work. It was the struggle you are having in your marriage. It was the situation with your health. It was the haunting voice of doubt. My friend, if that is you, it is okay. God understands your humanity. His grace is sufficient for our weakness. Today, let him sweep you up into his arms. Settle into his lap. Let him hold you. Let him run his fingers through your hair. Know that he is near. Take courage that he is God. He is in control. Take comfort knowing that you are his child, and that is enough.

Remember, he remembers that we are dust.

This article was originally published in the October 2015 Newsletter.