From Dust to Delight (2)

From Dust to Delight (2)

woman in gray crew neck shirt running on brown soil during daytime Photo by Pixabay on

“I will run the way of thy commandments,

when thou shalt enlarge my heart.”

Psalm 119:32, KJV

In this same psalm, the writer’s soul lay in the dust and melted with heaviness. Depression withered his heart. But, now, his heart  is renewed to the point of running instead being face down in the dust. What has happened?

  • He prayed,
  • believed God heard his prayer,
  • and where he once ate dust, now he feasted on manna from heaven—the word of God.
  • He chose the truth of God rather than the lies of the world.

Where once, as my dad would say, “He was lower than a snakes belly,” now his heart blew up bigger than a hot air balloon with the joy of the Lord. His circumstances may not have changed, but his perspective did.

Before the word was written, the psalmist chose the way of the writer of Hebrews.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about

with so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us lay aside every weight and sin

which doth so easily beset us,

and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Hebrews 12:1, KJV

The call rang out across the field, “Get ready. Get set. Go!” My eyes did not leave the 50 yard goal line. My 8 year-old mind fixated on the silver dollar waiting for the winner. I didn’t look to the right or left—always ahead—with my skinny long legs pumping at the speed of light(an exaggeration noted). As I crossed the finish line, my lungs burned and my legs felt like a bowl of jelly. Neither mattered. I won the silver dollar. The prize was worth the pain.

My race was a sprint.

The one we run as followers of Christ is a marathon,

filled with obstacles along the way,

and challenges which perfect our race, making us stronger.

In my race, only one received the prize,

but in the Christian race

there is a prize for all who make Christ our goal—

He is the prize.

Let’s take the first step and lift our heads up from the dust and say with Paul and the writer of Hebrews—

“I press toward the mark for the prize

of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus …

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider him that endured

such contradiction of sinners against himself,

lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

Philippians 4:14; Hebrews 12:2, KJV

When the race seems to never end, your lungs begin to burn, and your spirit turns to jelly, remember the Lord enlarges your heart to receive—

Strength for the race: “Then he said unto them,

  • Go your way,
  • eat the fat,
  • and drink the sweet,
  • and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared;

for this day is holy unto our Lord:

  • neither be ye sorry;

for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10, KJV

The love of God as your motivation: The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:

therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

Jeremiah 31:3, KJV

His promise of a prize: “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion

  • with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads:
  • they shall obtain joy and gladness,
  • and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10, KJV

When we run the way of Jesus, according to his word, in obedience to the Father, he inflates our hearts to receive all we need to run our race with joy—for he is our rejoicing. He raises us up from the dust into his delight.

One more promise:

“But my God

shall supply all your need

according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19, KJV

What will you rejoice in today? Write it down. Think on it. And delight in the Lord with rejoicing. If you will, share your rejoicing in the comments that others might rejoice with you.


God And The Ostrich

God and the Ostrich

Why did God create a bird that could not fly? He actually made several birds flightless. Each one has a story to tell but the one the Lord relates to Job is the king of the bird world in size, weight, and speed.

When the Lord answers Job’s request to talk with him, God reminds Job that God is God and Job is not. One humorous example the Almighty uses is the witless ostrich. He begins the six verses describing this sometimes nine-foot tall, three hundred pound bird, with eyelashes any woman would envy by saying—

“The ostriches’ wings flap joyously

With the pinion and plumage of love,”

Job 39:13, NASB

She is a happy bird because she is loved. Ostriches normally mate for life. Not only is she loved by another ostrich, she is loved by her creator, even if she isn’t a good mother, has no wisdom, nor understanding. She is content being good at what God made her good at.

“When she lifts herself on high,

She laughs at the horse and his rider.”

Job 39:18, NASB

She can run at speeds up to forty-five miles an hour. The horse can’t catch her—Ha! Ha! Ha!

I can almost see our heavenly Father bringing an encouraging smile to Job—who by the way, is still covered in boils, penniless, and grieving for his family. But all that really matters to Job at this time—God has not left him. He can endure the pain with God by his side.

Instead of God directly answering Job’s question of why, He encourages Job to remember—

  • God has not left him alone.
  • He loves Job more than the witless ostrich.
  • He doesn’t need to know the why.
  • He only needs to trust his Creator.

In many ways we should not be like the cruel ostrich, but we can take a lesson from her, for

We are loved:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20, KJV

We are in God’s care:

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you …

Be anxious for  nothing,

but in everything by prayer and supplication

with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known to God.”

1Peter 5:7, KJV; Philippians 4:6, NASB

We are not alone in our trials:

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said,

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

So that we may boldly say,



Hebrews 13:5-6,KJV

We rejoice in faith:

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Whom having not seen,

ye love;

in whom, though now ye see him not,

yet believing,

ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Receiving the end of your faith,

even the salvation of your souls …

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”

1 Peter 1: 7-9; 2 Corinthians 5:7, KJV

The Lord didn’t ever tell Job, as far as we know, why all the bad stuff happened to him. What He did tell Job could be stated in a few words—You don’t need to know why. You only need trust in the One who does.

Knowing this we can be like the ostrich and flap our wings joyously. For we don’t look at our circumstances but at our Creator. We can say with the apostle Paul—

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”

Philippians 4:4, KJV


2 Corinthians 13: Finally

This Week’s Scripture:

Finally brethren, rejoice,

be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11, NASB

Finally, we come to the end of our time in 2 Corinthians, and Paul comes to the end of his letter of instruction, exhortation, and edification. There is nothing more to be said.  I plan on dividing this week’s scripture passage into phrases telling the story that began before the foundation of the world and has no ending—for Christmas is Jesus—“who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8b

blogchristmas-1010749__340Finally, a time of waiting became a time of rejoicing—After at least 4000 years of the Lord God speaking instructions, exhortations, promises, and prophecies to a people he chose to represent him, God became silent for 400 years—waiting for the time when he would speak again through his living Word—a time when there would still be a few waiting to hear him and rejoice.

Finally brethren—

The living Word became flesh.

“Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me,

be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory,

which Thou hast given Me;

for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world …

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God …

And the Word became flesh,

and dwelt among us—

Joseph and Mary headed to Bethlehem—

And it came about that while they were there,

the days were completed for her to give birth.

And she gave birth to her first-born son;

and she wrapped Him in cloths,

and laid Him in a manger,

because there was no room for them in the inn …

His name was then called Jesus …”*


The glory of the Lord is revealed.

“… and we beheld His glory,

glory as of the only begotten from the Father,

full of grace and truth—

Back in Bethlehem shepherds shook with fear—

“And the angel said to them,

‘Do not be afraid;

for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy

which shall be for all the people …

Glory to God in the highest …

And He(Jesus) is the radiance of His(God’s) glory

and the exact representation of His nature,

and upholds all things by the word of His power …”*

For Thought: How do we keep the joy and rejoicing, born with Christ, when facing what seems insurmountable challenges? How can we be an avenue of helping others know this joy?

Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you, for showing us your glory, giving us reason to rejoice in any season, for being our strength. As you have given us your greatest and best in Jesus Christ, may we be awed by the wonder of it all and be quick to share with others all you have shared with us as we wait for your next coming.

*(John 17:24; 1:1,14a; Luke 2:6,7, 21b; NASB);(John 1:14b;Luke 2:10,14; words in parenthesis added for clarification)