Day 6: The “Dust-man”

by Yongjoon Kim

I wrote this devotional back in 2009, but I felt most of it is still relevant for this week’s prayer meeting. So I made some changes to it, and I would like to share it with you.

As the digital clock wound down to zero on the flat-screen TV, people in the living room shouted out loud, “Happy New Year!!!” We were celebrating a new year ahead of us.

A few days have passed since then, and I wonder why we celebrate a New Year every year. Is it because we hope it will be better than the previous year? Do we feel like we are starting again from a clean slate? Or perhaps it is a sigh of relief that a tough year is finally over. In any case, one thing is certain–we all have one year less to live in this world. As a man of faith, I believe that God created Adam out of the dust of the ground and breathed His spirit into the “Dust-man” and gave him life.

The Bible says, in Genesis 2:7, “then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 Amplified)

In 2005, my grandmother passed away. As is common in South Korea, her body was cremated. I didn’t cry much during the funeral service at the hospital funeral home. But once her body was placed in the cremation chamber at the crematorium, I broke down and wept profusely. It had hit me that my grandmother, once a lively woman, would no longer be with us in this world. Once the cremation process was over, my sorrow and grief quickly turned into an utter shock. All that remained of my grandmother, inside that cremation chamber, was just her bones. Afterward, her bones were ground into a handful of ashes or “dust.” And I held that handful of “dust” in my own hands.

I also held a newborn baby in my hands. When my daughter was born, I held her in my hands. It was a wonderful and amazing experience. Whether I held the ashes of my grandmother in my hands or I held my baby in my hands, it made me think about God, how great and awesome He is, and how small and feeble we are. It made me think about creation and birth. It also made me think about death and life after death. It was vividly clear that we come into this world with nothing, and we leave this world with nothing.

As I live and grow a little older, I’m realizing and feeling the brevity of human life. And I begin to abhor the thought of merely existing on this earth. I’m filled with the conviction that life is to be lived to the fullest. It’s not about wealth, power & fame, or popularity. Otherwise, I’d agree with what the author of Ecclesiastes said–“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2b ESV)

I have been seeking what the Lord wants me to do while I’m living in this world. But now, I must first ask, who does my Lord want me to be? To do what I was created to do, I must be the man I was created to be. And to be the man I was created to be, I must know my Creator. And I must know Him better. I must let the Holy Spirit reign in me and my life. I must follow His leading and obey the Lord with humility, boldness, and faith. And I must lift up His Name and give praise to God with all of my life.

The Bible says, in Psalm 46:10~11, “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower]. Selah. (Psalm 46:10~11 Amplified)

Back in 2008, I audited (definition: attend a class informally, not for credit) a Psalms class at a seminary. In that class, one of the classmates asked the professor this question: “What does it mean to fear God?” The professor replied, “the fear of God is a willingness to let God’s will be done.” And I thought this could mean a dangerous journey for us.

I recall one of my favorite daily devotionals (My Utmost for His Highest) by the late Oswald Chambers: “If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the calm waters just inside the harbor, full of joy, but always tied to the dock. You have to get out past the harbor into the great depths of God and begin to know things for yourself–begin to have spiritual discernment.”

I must admit that I often seek the joy, comfort, peace inside the harbor, “tied to the dock.” Now I realize that I am to seek joy, peace, love, hope, and grace outside the harbor. These things do not come from the circumstances we are in or material things of this world. These things only come from God.

So, let’s reflect on this thought as we start the New Lunar Year. Let’s seek the Lord and know Him better. Let’s walk with the Lord and be one with Him. Let’s be united with brothers and sisters in Christ.

“And let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24 Amplified)

Discussion points:

What have you been pursuing or striving for in your life in the past 3 to 6 months? Is your life focused on an eternal perspective or an earthly perspective?

Are you willing to let God’s will be done in your life, or are you more self-driven and focused on achieving your goals?

Prayer points:

Seek the Lord our God with all your heart and strength, and ask Him to reign in your life.

Encourage one another. Pray for one another. Comfort and strengthen brothers and sisters in Christ who are going through tough times.

“And let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24 Amplified)

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