This devotional is an excerpt from Surrendered, a Lenten devotional by Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer.
For you are dust, and you will return to dust. – Genesis 3:19
Ash Wednesday is how it all begins. Millions of Christians around the world will go to Church today and have a cross drawn on their forehead with ashes. As the ash is applied the words will be spoken: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
What a fitting way to begin a fast–remembering the fragile nature of your existence.
Could it be that one of the reasons we don’t focus our spiritual life like we should is that we forget who and what we are?
We are created–from dust.
We are moving toward an end–back to dust.
This is not a negative thought. We are created beings brought into existence by the hand and breath of God. He moved us into existence out of love and for our good. But we need to remember that it was God who moved us into existence and not we ourselves. In this we remember that we literally owe Him our lives.
We also know that we are destined for an end to this physical life. Again, this is not all negative. God has offered us a life beyond this one–a place with Him that is perfect and permanent.
However, too often we put all our eggs in one basket. We focus our time and energy on this life–the short and temporary one. That’s why we need times like Lent to remind us to see ourselves as we really are: pilgrims passing through this life to the next–the permanent one.
So, as we begin Lent we are made to see the limitations of our createdness. We are dust.
This Lenten season, give up the self-sufficient attitude that seeks life on its own as if we are something more than beings created by a loving God. As dust we cannot do this on our own. We are dependent on His grace and love.
During these 40 days, focus your prayer life on confessing your need of Him. Recognize that He is the One who holds your life in His hand. You don’t have to seek power–He is the powerful One. You don’t have to make yourself into something. He made you, and He will continue to make you into something in His own time.
Because God cares for us, we can trust Him. Humility is often hindered by the lack of trust. If we don’t look to him to make us something, we will have to do it ourselves. We feel the compulsion to act in His place.
But we are dust. If you humble yourself under His might hand, what will happen? You will have to trust Him. Humility and patience go hand in hand here. Trust Him. Let Him work in His own time. You practice humility by placing yourself under His hand.