Have you ever had those times when you feel like life is a huge truck and you managed to get in its way? The last few years I’ve felt like I just can’t seem to avoid the truck. Every time I mustered the strength to get back up, it was only in time to see it coming right at me! There were times that getting back up was just not worth it and the smartest thing to do was to lay low and keep my head covered.
When I did finally get my face out of the dirt, I could see that there were quite a few others down there with me. Most were not able to even hold their heads up to see that they were not alone. Some were beginning to look around and realize that they were among others. In some ways, I think, that is exactly where God wanted us, on our faces before Him. I didn’t like the way I got there or the weight of events that kept me there but I am gradually seeing some of the work He has been doing in myself and in the others who have bitten the proverbial dirt.
I’ve always held the belief that no matter what kind of situation I find myself in, I am there to learn something. If God is truly God, and is allowing a situation then I want to gain everything I can from that place. With that in mind, what can we gain from being face down in the dirt?
First of all, God created the dirt and good things grow in dirt. He created man from the dirt. The Bible reminds us that we will all die and return to the dirt and David actually thanked God for remembering that he was merely dust. I’m reminded of a story from the modern missionary to Africa, Heidi Baker. She and the many orphans she and her husband have cared for have often found themselves in desperate situations and have seen many miraculous answers to prayers. When asked why she thinks they have seen so many miracles, she said it was because they had learned to love the presence of God so much that she would rather pray in the dirt floored huts than do anything else.
So the dirt is not really such a bad place to be after all. Heidi reminds us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit. For theirs is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are the children. Theirs is the Kingdom of God. There’s something about desperation, no backup plan, a child-like spirit.” Sometimes I get anxious for the things that I know only God can provide but instead of having faith, I try to come up with the backup plan. Sometimes I have deceived myself by saying that I am walking by faith when in reality I’m giving lip service to God while trying to figure it out myself. Just about when I think I’ve got it under control, I look up and see that truck coming again! Down I go! I fight being there! I wonder why someone doesn’t see me and help me out. Sometimes it looks as if someone is going to help and they push me back down. I get hurt! I get angry!
Then I get desperate again and remembering how God has met me in these situations before. I relax. I remember the lessons of the dirt. I remember that I cannot meet my own needs (let alone anyone else’s). I remember the lessons of humility and desperation. And I remember Him. As always, He comes. He provides. He comes right in the dirt with me and stays until I have enough strength to get up and move on. I’m finally able to get out of the dirt! He has cleaned me up and I can finally go do something else! Funny thing though, I’m drawn back to the dirt. All the things I thought I was missing while in the dirt just don’t hold my attention and I go back to the dirt and sit next to someone else who is desperate and watch Jesus do for her what He has done for me.
I would never have know how fragile I am and yet how little I need without the truck. I am thankful for the truck. I am content in the dirt because I have Him and if I ever want to see Him, all I have to do is find someone who is desperate in the dirt because He will be right there with them.
For He knows our frame, He (earnestly) remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust.