Eat the Dust… meditation

The steadfast love of the Lord remains.

What happens when it all falls apart around you, the structures and buildings, the foundations and the life you have built, when you lose what you wanted to be secure, what happens when it all falls apart around you?

What happens when you get what you want and what you wanted didn’t solve the problem? When you follow your heart and your heart leads you astray, when you follow your desires and yes even your lusts, and you find out you’re even more empty and lost than you were before?

What if you feels like you’re the only one holding on, fighting with all of your might to hold the pillars in place, like it’s all upon your shoulders and you have to make it right, but you can’t and you don’t and it all comes crashing down around you. When friends leave you and family forsakes you and there’s nothing left but you holding the dust and even that is slipping through your fingers.

The steadfast love of the Lord remains.

There was this simple reality about suffering that I learned from a friend and professor, that it seems so simple but it explains so much: we suffer from the natural consequences of our own sinful actions and the natural consequences of the sinful actions of the people around us and before us. Not one of us lives in a vacuum or in a bubble, the idea that maybe I can pop my headphones on and have my own personal soundtrack playing while I live my life however I want to live it without affecting or being effected by the consequences of those choices is a myth, it can’t be real. We are sinful and broken people living in a world of sinful and broken people who have been sinful and broken for a very, very long time.

When the people around, the people in authority, a single person with a suicide vest, make sinful choices they have disastrous consequences ripping through the people all around them who maybe didn’t even have anything to do with the fight but effecting them all just the same. But, we can’t dislocate ourselves and say these sinful people are bad and I’m not, because not only do we know our hearts too well but like it or not, we are a part of this organism called humanity, we belong to each other and our responsible to each other. We are our brother’s keeper, whatever and wherever my brother and sister are like or found.

But when our consequences meet us full on in the face and we can’t get past them or run away from them, even when we try. The author of Lamentations says today “it is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth, (but not only in his youth because we all have times when we are young in our thoughts and actions) let him sit alone in silence, when it is laid on him, let him put his mouth in the dust, there may yet be hope.” How can eating dust bring hope?

But is not suffering also a part of that which rids us the things that cannot save us? Not in the sense of God pressing his thumb down upon us to see how long till we pop, rather knowing that the flood of sinful consequences in this world doesn’t let up and if we try to find a foothold, some other solid footing apart from God to save us it will all end, it will all be washed away. We can respond by raging at the night with the full force of our impotent rage and in doing so only add to the flood of consequences that rushes around us. Or we can bow down and eat the dust, let the flood of consequences flow over us and wash away from us all that which cannot save, cannot stand firm. Till all that remains is you and God, every idol, every lust, every sinful desire, every impotent rage, every other god that you placed your trust in has been washed away and all that is left is the only One who can remain, who can be steadfast, who can save and who does save, because only…

The steadfast love of the Lord remains.

See the One that He sent to stand in the midst of the flood to bear the load of every consequence and sin this being called humanity has created. He sat upon the cross and bore the silence of God and cried out my God why have you forsaken me? He placed his mouth in the dust and let the flood of all of our sin wash over him, to the point of death, even death on the cross. He did not think of himself as one who was above our suffering and pain, even though so often we bring it upon ourselves and He did not, but came down into all that we suffer and to shelter our life, our very soul within the womb of his very body and blood even though the whole world is washed away from us, Jesus alone shelters you because…

 The steadfast love of the Lord remains.

So when we are faced with the consequences of this sinful life and a sinful humanity, it is so hard to remember what God has done for us in Jesus, how He has borne all of our sorrows upon the cross and holds us tight in the storm. We need a community, I need a community, a family, that will tell me the old, old story that is as new as today, to sing hymns praising God for all He has done, to hold hands as we pray together in joy and pain, to surround around the very body and blood of the savior who surrounds us so we wouldn’t be lost in the flood of consequences; we need a family of faith and that is the blessing that God has given to each of us, that in song, word and deed, through them and through us God brings comfort to all of the brokenhearted and promises us and shows us in Jesus, that in every circumstance

The steadfast love of the Lord remains.

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