In my more melancholic, self-focused moments, I often find myself dwelling on a prevailing sense of my own inadequacy, particularly when I compare myself to what I think God expects me to be. In a matter of moments, I find myself eating dirt — feeding on failures (both present and past), dining on disappointment, chewing on the clumps of soil that remind me of the hardness of my heart in many areas. In these moments, I turn inward and bemoan the futility of my pathetic efforts to change and to truly become what God intends me to be. After all, I am just a pile of dirt and dust!
The more consumed I become with spooning the dirt into my mouth, the more I withdraw from others, as it is clear I have nothing good to offer anyone else. Now and then, when a friend insists, I might fish out a little “meat” from the supply of dirt in my soul and tenuously proffer a worm, the best I have, to feed him or her. “It’s really nothing,” I protest, when thanked, “You know I have nothing good to offer you, but it’s the best I can do right now.”
Lately I have realized that this kind of attitude is only a poor counterfeit for humility — at best, it might be classified as self-pity. However, the real root of it is something far more serious: unbelief! I consider myself a person of faith, but God has revealed to me that I have Tupperware containers full of unbelief on the pantry shelves of my soul, containers I delve into when I am paralyzed by fear, a sense of failure, disappointments, or my own human mistakes. The root of that unbelief is a simple refusal to believe that the God who created me and delighted in what He was creating is capable of using anything He pleases to make anything He wants. In judging myself to be nothing more than a pile of dirt, somehow I forget that God made man out of the dust of the ground. Surely God, who made man out of dust and breathed His life into him, is capable of working the same miracle again with what I deem to be my pile of dirt.
Moreover, when feeding on my personal bowl of dirt, I am actually relegating myself to a future reserved for the enemy of my soul. In Genesis 3:14-15, God placed a curse on the serpent as punishment for deceiving the woman. “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her Seed [aka Jesus!]; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” What a devilish plan of deceit for the enemy to trick me into thinking HIS destiny of eating dirt is MINE! May it never be!
Forgive me, Father, for eating dirt and not trusting you to transform me! Will I dare to believe God or not?