On Sunday night, I did perhaps one of the most admirable acts a human has ever done. It involved a waitress and an Applebee’s menu.
“What can I get for you?” she said.
“I would like the grilled salmon please,” I told her.
Did you hear that? I ordered the low-calorie plate. It didn’t even come with any buttery mashed potatoes on it –just steamed veggies. Can you hear the trumpets of victory? See the confetti?
And I worked out six days in a row last week. Count them: SIX days on the treadmill and doing strength training. That’s because I turn 47 this month, and I’ve been starting to fall in love with elastic waistbands. Plus I had that little trip to the doctor when I had Strep throat before Christmas and saw a number on the scale I had never seen before.
Hello, slowing metabolism.
So I was looking for a Spanish Bible verse yesterday, to put on the huge chalkboard wall in my living room, and I came across Psalm 103:14 (NIV).
For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
This verse caught my attention in Spanish, because the word for “formed” is “condición.”
God knows our condition –what we’re made of.
I was thinking about my waistline and how talented I am at hiding its expansion with a cute swinging top and empire waistlines, but I can’t hide my condition from God.
God knows I’m made out of dust.
Is that a weird verse to write on my chalkboard wall? It’s kind of weird, but I think it’s the very best place to start a new year. We have to know who we are.
We’re making resolutions and longing to be better people, but “somos de barro.” We are dust. What can dust accomplish by itself?
We begin the year in a powerless, humble position. You won’t find that on an inspirational poster. But when we make this confession we realize our great need, and that puts us in perfect position before God.
I was making dinner yesterday and listening to worship music in the kitchen. Gungor came on, singing these lyrics:
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of dust.
The best place to start a new year is in complete dependence on the God who can breathe life into dust and give it value. Remember the blind man? Jesus spit into the dust on the ground and used the mud to heal the man’s eyes. (John 9:1-12)
We are dust.
Jesus knows our condition, but he can work miracles. He can change a blind man’s life with a little bit of dust plus some of his own spit.
I wish I had time to walk us through all of the beautiful verses that surround Psalm 103:14. Would you take time to read the whole chapter today? It’s pretty short. Grab a notebook and pen, and write down how God feels about you and how he treats you, knowing you are dust. You will feel so, so happy when you are done. It’s nothing but good news and just the encouragement you need to start your week.
I pray you will know God’s great love for you this year, and may you accomplish all the good work he has lined up for you.