I love watching the dust dance across the road, even though this usually happens when I’m driving. Even if I only see it for a split second, I am always amazed at how something so simple, so mundane, can be so beautiful. I’ve probably seen this a thousand times now, but some days I am caught by surprise at the subtle beauty of sand blowing across the desert floor.
On one such occasion, I thought about how when you’re caught in a dust storm, even on a small scale, the dust just gets everywhere. The wind can be so strong in a desert that, even with the doors and windows closed, I can feel a fine layer of dust on my floor and kitchen table. It seems to be able to find it’s way into every crease and crevice available, until everything is consumed by the dust. It gets in your hair, your eyes, your nose, your ears, your teeth—you literally feel like you’re being taken over.
As Christians, this is how God’s presence in our lives should be. He should be in every crease and crevice, in every opening. He should come in and settle, leaving a layer of Himself on everything He touches. He should be so much a part of our lives that we are consumed. And just like dust is somewhat uncomfortable, sometimes so is God’s work in our lives. It’s the abrasiveness that gets rid of the dead cells, and brings the living cells to the surface. God’s work in our lives can leave us feeling raw and uncomfortable, but the great thing about God is that He also heals those raw spots when His work is finished. He doesn’t leave us feeling uncomfortable, but loved and taken care of. Dust leaves us feeling dirty, but God’s work in our lives makes us feel clean and new.
Unlike dust, which invades whether we want it to or not, God is waiting for an invitation. God wants us to be proactive in our relationship with Him. He wants us to ask Him into those areas of our lives that we’ve been avoiding. He wants to be invited to those places of our hearts that have been hidden out of sight for too long. I know we have a new theme verse at Harvest for 2019, but last year’s theme verse is still resonating in my heart, especially the part that tells us, “He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us” (Ephesians 3:20, AMP). Clearing out all that spiritual debris and dust may not seem very appealing, but knowing that we can trust God, our loving Heavenly Father, to be gentle with His work should help us take the first step: inviting Him in.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. —Psalm 139:17-18
When we invite Him in—and keep inviting Him to remain—He can become like the dust that settles over everything. When we give Him an open invitation that says, “There is nothing in my life that is off limits to You, Lord,” He can truly allow His Spirit to work in all those areas of our lives that we’ve neglected. Just like there is beauty in dust that dances across a road, there is beauty to be found in allowing God to take up residence in our lives.
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