Pious Bob – The Arrogance of Dust


St. Paul makes life so simple, but yet so hard: “…For I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty…I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:4-13).

Can we believe this? “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” This is the most important thing we can learn on our spiritual journeys. We can do all things through Him. That doesn’t always mean all pleasant things. How about the murderer who finds Christ while in prison? Can he do all things through Christ? The answer is yes. If he has truly turned to the Lord, he can endure all things including the death chamber. God’s law for those who come to Him is forgiving. Man’s law is not.

Some may say that religion is a sham, a crutch for weak individuals. I would describe my religion as recognition of my creator and a means of communicating with Him. There have been sayings in the past like, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” I heard someone say just recently that, “I don’t know if there is a God, but I may have caught a glimpse of him on that rough airplane ride I had last week.” For so many of us it does take some kind of life- threatening experience for us to start to feel connected with “Our Father who is in heaven”.

In Psalm 103 (NRSV) David tells us, “As a father has compassion for his children, so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him. For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.” And Jesus says in Matthew 6:19 (NRSV), “…But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Our self-confidence and our denial of God belie the truth. We are dust and to dust we shall return. If we can get to know God on a daily basis and have a continuous conversation with Him, we can do all things and endure all things through Him who strengthens us. David goes on to tell us in his psalm, “But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him…”

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