When the Dust Clears

Unsplash by Austin Ban - hands of dust IIHis parents have taught our youngest grandson to dust off his little boy hands when they’re dusty or dirty; a somewhat regular occurrence as he toddles his way to two years old. The nearby schoolyard and the gravel parking area on the side of our house recently made for some really good dust to dive into.

Watching him play reminded us of Pig-Pen …

Pig-PenBefore the Army relocated them again, they spent some of their remaining days stateside with us. The smallest things kept little Cody entertained: halves of empty plastic Easter eggs, a plastic container of corks, Grandpa’s gooseneck flashlight, our touch lamp (he loves lights) and olives. Black olives. In solidarity with his Grandma Nanc (who resisted the urge to put them on his ten tiny little boy fingertips. You’re welcome, Mom.)

One of the best parts of being around him – along with our other two grandchildren, now six and seven – is observing what intrigues them enough to do it over and over versus what ends up being, “Naw, tried it once. I’m good.” When the dust clears it is easy to see that though there are similarities, they chart their own course due to differences in temperament, style and what most captures their interest.

Three small bundles of dust among the other 7 billion on the planet. Including us, only bigger.

All uniquely designed in love by our heavenly Father who has plans and purposes stored in His heart for release through all generations as each one enters the world in His fore-planned timing.*

… the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
Psalm 33:11 (NIV84)

Sometimes charting the course of transition or change as an adult stirs up a lot of dust too.

Pig-PenLike a toddler we adults may plop down in the gravel, scramble back up and dust off our hands, oblivious to the dusty seat print on our backside. Evidence of our capacity to stumble and tumble every now and then. It doesn’t mean we don’t know how to walk. It just means we still know how to trip.

We may be drawn in one direction only to trip over our own feet in an effort to change course. It doesn’t mean we haven’t learned some flexibility. It just means that our perceived goal and ‘left field’ collided and we need to regain our bearing.


The thrill of the long slide may entice us to ‘do it again!’ over and over and over, but eventually it’s time to go home, eat some dinner, take a bath and go to bed. It doesn’t mean that passion and enthusiasm are to be tamped down, lest the flame goes out. It just means it’s time to give it and yourself a rest.

                       When the dust clears, the slide will still be there tomorrow.

There are times we get our hands dusty in the midst of wherever our feet lead us. Given to creating, building, constructing, erecting, compiling, leading, playing, serving – and a whole host of other ‘ings – some of the best expressions of who we are resemble Pig-Pen and his ever-present cloud of dust.

Something’s happening! At least it looks like something’s happening. How can we or anyone else tell?

  • If it feels like you’ve been spinning your wheels while stirring up a lot of dust, put it in park. Let the dust clear. What do you see? Your shaky man-made plans, or His plans still standing firm? To trip is human. To keep going in circles accomplishing eternal nothing is just plain dumb.
  • What if charting the course suddenly finds you with an ‘out of left field’ monkey wrench thrown in your path? Ask the Lord to wipe the dust from your eyes so you may see Him still standing in the midst of the new wrinkle. Let Him calibrate your flexibility so you may regain your bearing. Then keep following Him. No monkey wrench has caught Him off-guard or tripped Him up yet.
  • Passion and Purpose may be your favorite vocab. On a good day you may convince yourself they are two of the best things ever! But even the best, unless moderated and tended to keep it functioning well, will wear you down and wear you out. The One whose purposes stand firm through all generations – and that’s a long time – is the same One who advocated a day of rest from the Beginning.

Jesus went around doing good but He also knew when one more time down the slide was one too many. He passion’d and purpose’d hard; He retreated and rested well. His flame never went out and it never will.

 When the dust clears, God will still be standing.

It’s His plan and purpose that we still be standing too.

~ Nancy

*Psalm 139:13-17
Photo Credit: Unsplash free photo by Austin Ban

Like it? Share it…


Share Your Thoughts



  1. Hi Nancy,

    Another good one.

    I like the scripture Psalm 104:14:
    For he knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
    Dusty Donna

  2. Hey Nanc,
    I always enjoy reading how Holy Spirit and you craft the thoughts and words as they get put into printed form.
    Good job, once again!
    Love you,

  3. Nancy — I love this post. It rings so true to me -this has played out in my life over and over again. Each and every time the dust has settled, He is still standing. Thank you for visiting my blog today –I am happy to have ‘met’ you. xo

%d bloggers like this: