February 9 | Bible in a Year: Leviticus 6-7; Matthew 25:1-30
We Are Dust
He remembers that we are dust.
READ PSALM 103:8–14
The young father was at the end of his rope. “Ice cream! Ice cream!” his toddler screamed. The meltdown in the middle of the crowded mall began drawing the attention of shoppers nearby. “Fine, but we just need to do something for mommy first, okay?” the father said. “Nooooo! Ice cream!” And then she approached them: a small, well-dressed woman with shoes that matched her handbag. “He’s having a big fit,” the father said. The woman smiled and responded, “Actually, it looks like a big fit is having your little boy. Don’t forget he’s so small. He needs you to be patient and stay close.” The situation didn’t magically resolve itself, but it was just the kind of pause the father and son needed in the moment.
Echoes of the wise woman’s words are heard in Psalm 103. David writes of our God who is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (v. 8). He then continues by invoking the image of an earthly father who “has compassion on his children,” and even more so “the LORD has compassion on those who fear him” (v. 13). God our Father “knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (v. 14). He knows we’re small and fragile.
We often fail and are overwhelmed by what this big world hands us. What an amazing assurance to know of our Father’s patient, ever-present, abounding love.
By John Blase
REFLECT & PRAY
Thank You for being our patient, present Father who remembers who and what we are.
When have you felt overwhelmed like a little child? How do you believe God the Father responded to you in that moment?
“The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8) echoes the description of God revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 34:6-7). God’s love (Hebrew hesed) is often paired in the psalms with the word faithfulness (see Psalm 100:5), but Psalm 103 connects God’s love with His compassion (vv. 8, 13). The psalmist insists that God’s anger isn’t a vengeful, vindictive one, but is related to His longing for human beings to find forgiveness, healing, joy, and satisfaction in Him (vv. 3-5). Monica La Rose