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Made of Dust

God knows we are made of dust, he knows our little strength, despite that he calls us, and glorifies himself through our weakness.

I am so thankful for this wonderful life I live. Especially that I have a team here in Trang with me, but also that there is a family in Southern Thailand that I get to do this life with. They offer encouragement, prayer, and comradery that is essential to this Christian life. At the YWAM Southern Thailand conference at the end of March, Sam Sarvis, one of the YWAM elders in Bangkok, shared a message with us. This message was a summary of what God had been sharing with the elders in Thailand. There were many things he talked about, but this main theme struck a chord with me. He began by sharing a vision, and then a verse shortly following.

This vision was of a giant tree. Thousands of years old stretching high into the heavenly expanse. It's base strong and thick, covering as far as the eye could see just to support the height of this lofty creation. Small as an ant in comparison to this tree, a man stood. With axe in hand he steadied himself, and swung. Over and over he took hits at this tree. A seemingly impossible task, he squared his shoulders and face this massive structure head on.

While this task is certainly a heavy undertaking, in time if this man continues steadfast, the tree will fall. So it is with us and prayer. The Lord has given us a huge task, to see the entire world hear the gospel (Matthew 24:14). This task seems impossible with the strength of man, but if we persist in prayer and action, this task will be completed. We are not so great that we can complete this on our own strength. Instead it is who we persistently petition through prayer. After sharing this vision, Sam went into talking about this verse:

"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." Revelation 3:7-8

While this speaks to the church in Philadelphia, God shared this to YWAM Thailand for this season. I find this verse sweet and refreshing for my soul. For oftentimes, I find the thought entering my mind, "Am I enough for _____?" You can fill in the blank. It doesn't matter what it is, the accuser of the brethren certainly has been living up to his name in my life. Placed before me is a great calling, command, and invitation. The same placed before every believer. To go and make disciples of all nations, and so take part in Christ's inheritance for the nation. Whenever I take time to rest, or I realize I haven't been able to share the gospel in it's entirety yet, I hear a hissing voice accusing me, "You can't. You aren't enough. You won't be able to do what you're being called to." And on and on this voice slanders.

It's clear outside of the situation whom this voice belongs to. Yet, in the moment I find myself to be weak. After a few moments of this assault, it's my own voice echoing the concerns if I am indeed enough. If I do indeed have the strength. Or if I am going to even make it past the next few months. In his infinite faithfulness to protect, God has been renewing my mind and growing me to recognize the lies that crawl from the pit. You see, this doubt of myself isn't just about me. It's a doubt upon God and his ability to impart strength to the people who say yes to him. He has called me and that in itself constitutes the authority to say I can do this. It's not due to my own yes, but rather the one whom has called me.

The fact of the matter is no, I am not enough for this grand calling in front of me. None of us are. However, where the accuser stops, the Lord continues the thought. We are not enough, but when Christ calls us he strengthens us and is glorified in weakness!! God knows exactly what we are made of. He knows we are made of dust. He knows we are weak. He knows we can't do it alone!

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he know how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust..." Psalm 103:13-14

The Lord knows full well who I am, all my strengths and faults combined. He knows how long I can continue on my own strength. He knew that moving to Thailand would be the hardest season of my life, but he never left my side. He knows I am made of dust. He knows I have little strength. If anyone thought I came here because of my own strength or qualifications, I'm sorry but that's simply not true. I maintained my course to Thailand despite the struggles because God was with me. I said yes to him, and I had to keep saying yes to him, but I was only able to do so because of his love and grace extended to me.

I have to be honest, although I know the truth, I still falter in my belief that God can use me. Until Sam began to talk about this, I didn't realize how much I doubted God. While this doubt is disguised by self-pity, it is in fact a doubt of God's character. I want to make it clear to you, even though I am a missionary, I am no super-apostle that never struggles with anything. I am not the first believer to make this claim, in fact, Paul was quite transparent about his wrestling's.

"...My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness..." -2 Corinthians 12:9a

Paul often describes times of struggle. From persecutions to despairing of his own life. In this above passage he is struggling with a metaphorical thorn in his flesh. He longs for it to be removed from him. Yet God does not remove this struggle, he reminds Paul that his grace is enough, and even that this thorn is to remind Paul of his need for God's strength. You see, God receives even more glory when he works miraculous things through people of little strength.

We see over and over again throughout scripture God chooses the poor, the weak, the broken and desolate. He created Adam from dust, to show his power to bring life. He made a nation out Abraham, a man who didn't have any sons until his very old age. He brought Rahab, a gentile prostitute into Christ's lineage because of her faith. He made the smallest shepherd boy David into Israel's greatest king. He chose Mary, young, sweet Mary, to bear the Son of God. He chose Simon Peter, the man who denied Christ three times, to build his church.

Just a few examples of many. Every time, God's glory is shown even greater, because none of these people could have done it on their own. So why are we so surprised when he wants to do something great with us? Why am I so surprised when he wants to do somethings great with me? God knows full well what all of us are made of. He made us. He knows our limitations are great. What we need to realize, is who he is. What his limitations are. Spoiler: He doesn't have many. He can do whatever he so chooses to do.

He has called all his believers to take part in seeing all peoples finally hear of what he did on the cross. Whether that's by mobilizing and sending missionaries into the unreached, or going yourself, don't doubt him or his call. Trust me, I know how scary it can be, but I also know how worthy he is. I have spent a lot of time afraid that I am going to mess up everything God has planned here in Thailand. Yet Jesus tells us not to worry. He tells us not to doubt. Worry and doubt that God will accomplish what he intends to do has done me no good. Every time he has only proven that he is all the strength we need. I am learning to trust that God will do his will, and if he wants me to be a part of it I can't mess it all up because of my little strength. So if he has called me, my team, to Thailand, to share the gospel, to make disciples who make disciples, and to mobilize believers to the ends of the earth, he is gonna do it. All we have to do is be faithful to him, and keep swinging our axe.

From Dust I Came
Man was birthed from the dust of the earth, and woman from his side.
From clay they were designed and charged to multiply, and thus descended mankind.
Cain proved our components when he chose Abel as his opponent, and now dust is where they reside.

From dust man came, and we act the same, how could we stand in pride?

Through a poor man, one you named Abraham, you chose to bless all who were outside.
When they received the promised land, you took Rahab's outstretched hand, and brought her into Christ's line.
When you built your kingdom, you chose a shepherd to lead them, and said "David, your heart is mine."

From dust we came, only through your name, can we in your will abide.

A young virgin Mary, you chose her to carry, the Messiah to save mankind.
For a frightened fisherman, you had a plan, and through him built the church you called your Bride.
Now for me but dust, you gave me your trust, to proclaim the gospel worldwide.

Though from dust I came, I'll speak of salvation through your name, and thanks for always standing by my side.

A special thanks to Erik and Makayla Gonzalez
at for the inspiration
for this small poem.


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