By Ps Lim Wei-en
… for dust you are
and to dust you will return. (Genesis 3:19b)
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:13-14)
Thank You for the gift of life. So fragile, here today and gone tomorrow. Yet so precious because each breath we take comes from You and reminds us that the One in whom all things hold together still holds us together. Thank you.
Thank you that You know how we are formed. Despite what we may think of our less-than-ideal bodies or looks, it was You who created our inmost being, who knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. None of us are mistakes or failures in your sight. We praise You for we are fearfully and wonderfully made! Thank you.
At the same time, thank you for remembering that we are dust. That there is a limit to our strength, our fortitude, our endeavour. Regardless of our accomplishments or accolades, the day will come when we will all return to the dust from which we were made. Knowing this, You look on us with compassion, You treat our frailty with gentleness. Thank you.
We confess that we do not always live in the light of Your goodness towards us. We confess that, like our first parents, we often desire autonomy from you. We choose to do that which You tell us not to do because we do not like the idea of our “rights” being denied us. Have mercy on us and forgive us.
We confess that we often give in to the evil one’s lie that we can be “like God”, being masters of our own lives and controllers of our own destiny. We say to you “my will, not Yours be done” in our big decisions and our daily habits. Consumed by what benefits us, we do not use our time, money and energy in a way that truly loves you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Have mercy on us and forgive us.
As a result of our sin, You as the just Judge have rightfully deemed that we will not live forever in this body – to dust we will return. Yet, you as the merciful Judge have deemed that we will not have to live forever in this body – there is hope for a better future beyond this broken one. Thank you for your mercy on us.
You sent Your Son to do what we could not do for ourselves. As our substitute sacrifice, He died our deaths, so that we may have life. He took upon Himself our unrighteousness, so that we may have His righteousness. He was made poor for our sakes, so that we may be rich in Him. We praise You.
Because in love You have redeemed us through Christ, Your Son, we are reconciled to You. We, who were once far, have been brought near. We, who were alienated from You, have become Your adopted children. Sharing in the union that God the Father has with God the Son. What unspeakable grace! We praise you.
You remember that, at present, we are dust. But dust is not our destiny. Like Christ, our forerunner, we will one day be raised by You. This perishable body will be raised imperishable. This dishonored body will be raised in glory. This weak body will be raised in power. This natural body will be raised a spiritual body. We praise you.
Help us therefore to walk in gratitude, humility and joy for all You have done for us. In gratitude for the undeserved way we get to enjoy the fullness of Your blessings to us in Christ. In gratitude for Your mercies that are new every morning, and Your grace that is always sufficient for us. Help us.
In humility, because nothing we have and do is of our own, but through Your wisdom, power and grace alone. As creatures of dust, how can we but depend on You to sustain us, provide for us and help us? We are reminded that there is no place for boasting and self-confidence in Your economy. We give all glory to You. Help us.
In joy, because no matter our circumstance, no matter what trials we are facing or have yet to face, we know that these sufferings are not the final word. Christ, the eternal Word made flesh, is our final Word. When He comes again, all sorrows will cease, all tears will be wiped away, all injustice will be extinguished. The fragility and inadequacy of our dust-self will be no more. We will be raised immortal, the beloved in the presence of the Lover, and live under Your reign and rule forever. Help us.
This is our hope and prayer.
In Jesus’ Name,