Week Three Advent: Dust
Welcome back for Week Three of Advent on the Revelation Wellness Blog! If you are just joining us, watch the short, three-minute video on Week One to learn how to use this devotional with friends and family!
An Opening Prayer:
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” -Psalm 63:1
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 103
New Testament Reading: Matthew 11:2-15
Scripture Reflection: Psalm 103
“As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”
The Lord has compassion on you, as a father has compassion on His children. Why?
Because He knows how badly we need it.
Because He knows how we are framed.
He is quite literally “mindful” of our “dustness.”
Hear these words from theologian Charles Spurgeon:
“We too often forget that we are dust, and try our minds and bodies unduly by excessive mental and bodily exertion… but our heavenly Father never overloads us, and never fails to give us strength equal to our day. Blessed be his holy name for this gentleness towards his frail creatures.”
Our Heavenly Father always takes our frailty into account. He never forgets. He is gentle.
David wrote Psalm 103, speaking truth about God and our humanity 1,000 years before the coming of Christ. David knew in hazy outline what we now know in true form. David had the grayish tones of prophecies, but we have in living color the reality of Christ our Lord. David knew that God made us in His image, but didn’t know that God would take on our image in the incarnation.
On this side of the manger and the cross, we have seen the One who is “from everlasting to everlasting” (v.17). His name is Jesus. He stepped into history, taking on flesh and bone. Our God is not a god who stood far off, looking sadly into the pit of our suffering. He came into the pit, suffering with and for us. He became like us that we might become like Him. He took on our earthly frame that we might have His resurrected one.
What does this change? If we are in Christ, it changes everything.
I have felt very mindful of my dustness of late. I have seasonal affective disorder: major depression for the many winter months of the year. My “frame” is not what I wish. My body is broken. My mind is not whole.
He knows my frame.
Maybe you struggle with anxiety. Or chronic pain. Maybe you are riddled with grief over the loss of a child, a love, or a friend. Maybe relationships in your life desperately need reconciliation. Maybe you’re fighting a sin daily, trying to be faithful, yet every day feels like a battle.
In all these things, know this: He knows your frame.
We long for the day when our bodies and minds will be made whole. That day, as sure as the first coming of Christ to the stable, is coming soon. In Christ, God doesn’t just know our frame; through His life, death, and resurrection, He changed the frame game. It will not always be this way, beloveds. Our King will come again, and when He does, He will make everything sad come untrue.
Depression will not survive in the New Kingdom.
Broken bodies have a shelf life that ends when we see Him face to face.
Anxious hearts will disappear when we feast in the house of Zion.
Grief has an expiration date, and it is closer than we know.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
This is our hope: where our incarnate Christ has gone, we will go. The One who took on flesh, who was born bloody in a manger only to have His body torn for the love of us, is the Victor. Because the One who is everlasting experienced our frailties as Christ our brother, we are forever linked to the eternity He won for His people. Because He took down the powers of death and hell, you are bound for eternal glory.
The One who formed us took on our frame and changed everything.
Because He became like us, we shall be like Him.
So what else can we say but this?
Bless the Lord, O, my soul, and let all that is within me—every bit of my frame—bless His holy name!
A time for spontaneous prayer. Or answer the question: What do you notice in the from the Bible reading?
A Closing Prayer:
Almighty Father, guide us as we live in this season as those set apart for your Kingdom; teach us the way of peace and dependence on You; when we are tempted to hustle in the name of giving, move us to breathe and pray in Your name; let us prepare our hearts and our homes for Your coming through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Rev Tip: Take a technology break!
We are only five short days away from Christmas! This week, we challenge you to take a technology break. Block out at least an hour each day to intentionally put your phone away and focus on the tasks before you!
Take note of the moments you gravitate to your phone. Do you use your phone when you’re with family or friends? Do you log onto social media after you answer a text or check an email? Do you scroll through social media in a moment of great sadness or frustration?
Ask God to help you be fully present to your life outside of your screen. We pray He blesses you abundantly during these technology breaks!
Claire Urig is the Social Media Manager for Revelation Wellness. She loves to see women find their identity in Christ alone and saturate themselves in God’s Word. She adores her husband Wade (and keeps busy doing college ministry by his side), is obsessed with all things British, drinks way too much bubble tea, and finds a level of joy in sunny days that others might consider a bit extreme. You can find her on Instagram at @claireurig.
Thank you for observing the third week of Advent with us on the Revelation Wellness Blog! Please share your stories about how you use this devotional with your friends and family and your experience doing the RevTip each week!
Have you joined our 30-day faith then fitness challenge for January called, The Little Way? For 30 days, we’ll make small shifts that will have a significant impact on living healthy, whole, and free! Read more here and join today!
Workout with us in this #wednesdayworkout! For more workouts like this, visit RevWellTV!
KARA’S DRUMSTICKS & STRENGTH – “MAKE ROOM”
This Christmas workout will flip-flop you back and forth between cardio and resistance training. Sure to keep your body guessing. Muscle confusion? No big deal. God is never confused about us. Get comfortable being uncomfortable in this workout as we remember the reason we celebrate this holiday season. (ALL LEVELS) (ISAIAH 9:6; DRUMSTICKS & HAND WEIGHTS)