Back to Dust

An azalea bush was planted many years ago at the edge of our deck. The bush is in my line of sight through the window above my kitchen sink. As spring progressed, I watched the buds form, the flowers open, and a bee drinking its nectar. The floral beauty is now fading and the blooms are dropping, but the bush is thriving with green leaves.

I couldn't help but be reminded of Psalm 90:

You turn men back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, O sons of men.” For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning—though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.

Psalm 90:3-6

The psalm goes on to ask God to “teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

The wisdom we can gain from the plant life around us tells us we have a season in which to flourish. Like our plants which need watering, feeding, sunshine and weeding, we, too, need to be tended. This psalm is a prayer to God to provide the elements we need to flourish such as weeding out the sins that hinder our productivity as his servants and bring us to maturity as his children.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 90:14-17

If we are observant, we can tell when a plant needs attention. If we are observant, we can also tell when we need to ask God to supply our needs. Though our life span is limited and our bodies return to dust, God will restore his children to life which will not end.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

When Jesus returns, and he will, “We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51b-52).

Once again, God will breathe life into those he created from the dust of the earth.