Searching for Dirt

I’m on my couch attempting to relax. It’s been a stressful week, and I would love to escape into a favorite television show. My muscles begin to relax…my shoulders loosen up a little.

“Ahhh, yes…finally a little time to…”

An agitated little boy approaches me. He’s whimpering and snot-crying. My relaxation will have to wait.

Finally, after a couple minutes of wailing, I am informed of the problem. He has lost a piece to a toy. It’s a piece that he has 8-10 others just like. He could still play his game if he didn’t have this little, insignificant piece. Unfortunately for my relaxation, this piece is not insignificant to him.

My solution to our little conundrum is to settle for a similar piece. We can search for the other piece later. In fact, I bet if we just go about our day, it will turn up somewhere. No need to call in a search party.

His solution is different. He wants to call in a search party. Stop everything. Grab the flashlights. Disassemble the entire house. All of this to find a one-inch piece that is barely discernible from his 10 other one-inch pieces.

I’m thinking to myself, “Son, in the grand scheme of things this little toy is about as significant as a piece of dust. 100 years from now, it won’t matter that you used this piece over the other. Why should we start a search party for what amounts to me as a ball of dust?”

The searching heart of Jesus

I’m thankful that the searching heart of Jesus is more like my son’s than my own. He left the glories of heaven to “seek and to save” that which amounts to nothing more significant than a pile of dust (see Psalm 103).

Dust. Sweep up into the vacuum with a push of the button, dust.


But not to its Maker. Just as that little “insignificant” piece was everything but that to my son, so also we are significant to our Maker.

Dust balls? You bet.

But dust balls that matter to the Maker. Dust balls that cause angels to rejoice, heaven to swoop, and the Savior to bleed.

This truth became incredibly valuable to me as my life was unraveling in a cold bathtub. I found myself uncertain of whether I believed anymore. I had so much darkness in my heart and soul that I just wanted to disappear into the drain of that tub. I felt the weight of my sin, and I couldn’t handle it. I felt like I was running on a treadmill spiritually and just getting nowhere.

And then these simple words from Psalm 103 caused the lights to click on. He knows what we are made of. He remembers that we are but dust. The gospel came alive to me. I mean really alive. I’d be listening to worship songs and start crying about the beauty of the gospel. I remember trying to read Psalm 103 to the group of teens we were leading. I couldn’t do it. I just keep crying at the beauty of it.

I started talking about the gospel more and more and more. My sermons started to be less about our absolute surrender and the stuff we needed to do, and became more and more about what Jesus had accomplished for us.

The truth that God knows what I’m made of and remembers that I am but dust is such a freeing truth to me. It’s a great reminder that God’s pursuit of me isn’t grounded in my worthiness but in His character. I realized He wasn’t the one putting me on the performance treadmill—it was me.

Jesus knew that He was taking upon human flesh and dying for those made of dust. The glorious God became as dust to redeem those made up of dust. He didn’t die for me because I’m significant—He died for me because He is significant. And that is incredibly freeing.

Today’s post is by Mike Leake. Mike is the pastor at First Baptist Church, Marionville, MO. This post was adapted from an earlier version first published on Mike’s blog and is part of our series, Beholding Jesus. Read other posts in the series here..