Beautiful Dirt

Centered, Day 5

By Jason Brown, from the book Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters

First Fruits Farm, when you get down to its bare essentials, is just a thousand acres of dirt. It’s filled with plenty of other things: trees and ponds and barns and crops, and the dirt might be the last thing you see. To most people’s eyes, dirt’s not much to look at. It’s brown and boring. Get dirt on your hands, and you scrub it away with soap and water. Get mud on your shoes, and you scrape it off. We don’t like dirt. It’s about the lowest, humblest material on God’s green earth. 

But put a seed in that dirt and give it a little sun and water and care, and it grows into something useful, even beautiful. 

According to the Bible, we’re made of dirt and formed of dust from the ground. And what does God do? He takes us and plants a seed in us. He molds us in His own image. 

Sometimes when we look around the landscape of our lives, we see something dirty. Ugly. We see failures and disasters and setbacks. We look at those grimy moments in our lives and wish we could just wash them away. But God uses those mo­ments to grow something good. Something awesome and true. Something miraculous. He uses humble people, and people who’ve been humbled, to do great works for Him and His kingdom. But we have to trust Him. We have to allow Him to work through us, even if sometimes it can feel painful. 

I look around our farm and think about how good, and how generous, our God is sometimes. How even during the darkest of times—those times when our finances were such that we could barely pay our bills—God sustained us through it all. How He blessed us when we needed it, how He gave us strength and courage when we felt as though we couldn’t take another step in this life. I look at all the miracles He’s given us. I’m not talking about greenhouses or roosters; I’m talk­ing about our children. Our family. Our love for each other. 

We have all kinds of needs. But what do I really need? What has been the only thing I’ve ever needed? God. 

Just God.

Heavenly Father, I trust that you are good and work for my good. I will remember your sustaining love.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7

Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

Matthew 13:8

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Matthew 13:23

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:16‭-‬18

Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters
By Jason Brown with Paul Asay / WaterBrook Press

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