Can you imagine how ludicrous it would be for a father to punish his two-year-old because he did not know his times tables or his five-year-old for not being able to do advanced trigonometry? What if a mother spanked her six-week-old for not being able to walk? It would be so ludicrous.
I am so glad God is not like that either. He knows how old I am, and He remembers what I am capable of. He doesn’t try to get me to do things that are far beyond my current walk of faith. He helps me grow by baby steps. He doesn’t ask me to vault five-bar gates when I am two or even when I am twelve. One step at a time.
Psalm 103 says He has compassion on those who fear Him just as a father has compassion on His children. He remembers we are mere mortals. He remembers He made us from the dust. (Have you ever wondered how when He breathed the breath of life into us the dust didn’t all blow away?)
I am dust. He never forgets it, but sometimes I do. Sometimes I expect much more of myself than is reasonable. Sometimes I expect myself to be able to understand complicated trigonometry when I haven’t even learned basic algebra. It really creates a pretty messy assignment when one does this. Quite disastrous for all involved.
He always remembers what I am made of. He never asks me to do more than dust can do. He never expects me to be the eternal God. He is the eternal God. I am dust. Maybe that is why He has compassion on me. I would have compassion for dust too – especially if it was trying to do something with its life.
Any good this dust will ever bring to the world around it will be because He did it through it. Dust can’t do anything in and of itself. It can’t even make itself good for life. It is, after all, dust. Without water, it can’t even help other things grow; let alone grow itself. That is probably not what the verse actually means, but it is a random thought that came to my mind just now.
He has compassion on me. He always teaches me just what I need to know to get to the next step. I am not always good at learning it though.
This reminds me of a story Priscilla Shirer shares about her niece. When she was two, she would scream for her dad to feed her. Her dad would put her in the highchair while he went to the fridge to get her something to eat. The little girl would get out of the highchair, go the fridge, point and scream something like, “Eat”. He would put her back in the highchair, so he could prepare the food. She would get down out of the highchair, and around and around they would go. The dear girl could not understand that though the highchair was indeed quite a distance from the fridge, it was indeed the best place for her to receive the food she was begging her father to give her.
Sometimes I am like that little girl. I keep running away from the place God wants me to be to get me to where He wants me to go. Are you?