For You Are Dust

The story of the apostles in the boat with Jesus when a storm came is very popular. There have been many articles, books, Sunday school lessons and sermons on this story. We have focused a lot on the fear of the apostles, their lack of faith, Jesus’ control over nature proving His power and divinity and more. But one thing that struck me , that I believe sometimes gets overlooked. Jesus was sleeping. Now I know we all know that part of the story. That is nothing that is lost on anyone. It is always emphasized how the apostles had to wake Him up and they thought Jesus didn’t care at all. But that is not what I mean. Jesus was SLEEPING. JESUS! The son of God. One being a part of the Trinity. The One and The Only.  The I AM. The Alpha and the Omega. The one who sits on the throne. That guy was sleeping! I mean, He was tired! In the middle of the day!! Now some of you will point to the obvious that He is human and that shows He was fully human as well. And yes, that is true. But all the more that this shows, Jesus...God, needed sleep. And if He slept and took naps, then we need rest just as much!
Or consider the creation account. God was/is not human. Yet Genesis teaches us that He rested on the seventh day and created the Sabbath. But did God need the rest? NO! If He did, He would fail to be God. So what does this mean? He was teaching us that we need to rest. What is my point? I do not believe we always realize how fragile we are as humans. I think that we often have the sin of pride within ourselves and our ability. We don’t want to admit at times we need to slow down. We don’t want to acknowledge we need help. We don’t say no. We don’t admit we may have taken on more than we can handle. We cut down on our sleep thinking it will be ok. We don’t always observe the sabbath because there is too much to do. We forget just how fragile we are.
I realized this as I was battling Covid. I have never felt so weak and helpless in my life. It is hard to explain unless you go through it. But I realized during those weakest moments just how fragile I was. I didn’t suffer any injury. I randomly received some germs and it showed just how weak the human body is. Think about this...we are dust. That is all. We are as weak as that pile you wipe up in your living room. But we don’t think of ourselves that way. No, instead we take the prideful attitude that the world does. We expect energy, action and health. If we don’t have it then we need to get fixed by our doctor. We don’t view them as gifts from God. Instead we expect energy and health and if we don’t have them we think there is a medical issue. This is just a half truth. We are dust. We are fragile. And if we expect to always be active and have energy we are exerting pride.
“Our world despises fatigue. It hates weakness, dependency, aging, inability, and weariness. Our culture’s ideal is to be strong, independent, youthful, vigorous, capable, radiant, healthy and energetic. That is a half-truth. To enjoy health and strength is a wonderful gift from God. To lose these things is hard. But our culture takes those good gifts and says, ‘You gotta have them!’ And if you don’t have them you are defective. You are less than a human being. The world takes the fights of God without God. It lives for the gifts not for the Giver. But God says that weakness is the door to knowing Him.” David Powlison
Have you bought into the world’s lies? Thinking you need to do more? Not admitting your limitations? Looking down on weakness as a sin? If you have, then that is a sin itself. Paul said that he was content in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10). Can you say the same? We know we are not God but we sometimes live in a way that we think we are. 
God doesn’t need rest, we do.
God doesn’t need to eat, we do.
God doesn’t need the sabbath, we do.
Now some of you may be thinking, “Are we not supposed to work? To serve? To sacrifice?” Yes we are. These are all biblical principles. But there is one thing to make a sacrifice and it is quite another to pursue needless toil. It is one thing to work hard and another to think weakness is bad. It is one thing to serve and another to serve so much that you are burned out. When was the last time you said no because you had too much going on? When was the last time you observed the sabbath biblically? We must be aware of the warning from God’s word, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:2)
We need to humble ourselves and admit our fragility. We need to be content in our weaknesses. We need to acknowledge our limitations and realize it is ok. God is more concerned about your spiritual growth, not your worldly production. Take a nap. Jesus did.
“How strange to think so proudly about ourselves and our strength when we are so fragile.” Christopher Ash

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