Dust to Dust

For you are dust, And to dust you shall return,” Genesis 3:19b.

Lent starts today. For many, even some Christians, it’s just another day. But it begins a season I mark every year now.

As a child, I didn’t work very hard at Lent. I’d decide to give up potato chips until there were some potato chips around. Then I’d switch to something else, like chocolate. And then, to something else. I was like Huck Finn deciding what not to steal today.

Then for many years, I didn’t mark Lent at all.

I don’t remember when I started again. My discipline about food hadn’t advanced far from what it was when I was a child. I ate too many potato chips when they were there. And too much of anything made of sugar any chance I could get.

I’m not overweight–or not seriously so. I bounced around within 20 pounds or so since hitting 40. But Lent isn’t about weight control. It isn’t a diet plan. It’s a desire to work with God to get control of food. To keep food (or anything else) from having control over me.

To honor Him in what and how much I eat.

It’s about discipline and sacrifice–albeit small sacrifice. The discipline isn’t just one of physical appetite. There is a spiritual element in all we do.

And in sacrifice, we acknowledge that we aren’t in heaven yet. Today begins a place where sometimes we partake and sometimes we abstain. It’s a place where we do better when we don’t have it all. But it’s hard because what we want is all around us. All we want. All the time.

Everywhere we look. So we need discipline and with it comes sacrifice.

The discipline and sacrifice remind us.

Lent reminds us that others don’t have it all around them all the time.

Lent reminds us heaven is ahead of us. We are not there yet.

Lent reminds us that He carried a cross.

He sacrificed. For us.

In the meantime, we work. We struggle at times.

We can only imagine heaven. We yearn for it. We even confuse this world with it sometimes.

Only one dwelled there and then came here.

He did not have to imagine. He knew. Yet He came.


Photo Credit: Pexels


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12 Replies to “Dust to Dust”

  1. The meaning of Lent and how to respond during this season is often confusing. Nancy, your message is wonderful in helping us understand the meaning of Lent and how we can honor the sacrifice our Lord made for us. Thank you.

  2. I too celebrate and participate in Lent and try hard to cling to the spiritual meaning of this season. As a child, I didn’t. But as an adult, I do… it helps me to think about the sacrifice of Jesus and how my daily acts of sacrifice, or my new practices, can honor him and remind me of his love.

  3. Powerful message, Nancy! As we abstain from simple pleasures, it reminds us there is a greater pleasure up ahead in heaven.
    I love your closing lines: Only one dwelled there and then came here. He did not have to imagine. He knew. Yet He came. Remember.


  4. Thank you for this insightful explanation. We “try” to honor Lent each year but I think many don’t fully understand. I saw a Christian post the other day ask the question; Why do some people believe ashes on their forehead will save them? I almost commented but passed. I do Lent and ashes to remember the sacrifice of Christ for me. Thanks Nancy

    1. That question is a good example of how we misjudge each other and distort each other’s beliefs. It’s a great joy to Satan and a failure to acknowledge Christ’s prayer in John 17 that we be one. Ashes are to help us remember Christ’s suffering on our behalf. Thanks, Yvonne. God bless!

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