For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”

Psalm 103: 11-14

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. I couldn’t do much else but to let tears run down my face as the congregation read aloud Psalm 103 last night, during the Ash Wednesday service that we attended. Then, verse 14 hit me like sledge hammer cracking walls of concrete around my heart, and suddenly I could do no other but to sit there reflecting on the fact that I am finite, I am but dirt of the ground, I have a beginning and, outside of God, an end, yet God is eternal, and He endures through the ages.

It wasn’t a moment of guilt, even though the Spirit led me to conviction many times last night. Sometimes, when we are at our lowest and when our guilt consumes us, we can feel like crap, like dirt that deserves to be stepped on. However, this wasn’t the feeling that awoke within me from verse 14. To be reminded that the Lord knows my frame, dust, and yet He chooses to love me, is an incredibly powerful truth, and one that I would love to be reminded of every day. The entirety of Psalm 103 is an invocation of God and how, from the heavens where sin has no foothold, he reigns down mercy and grace upon His people. Does He have to? No. He chooses to. Through Christ, our mortally sick and broken selves are lifted from death into life, from curse unto holiness, and we are shown true freedom: the freedom to live a live everlasting in worship and true uninterrupted communion with the Triune God.

For he knows our frame, He knows our frame. He knows our frame. He remembers we are dust. We are dust, and yet He delivers compassion, justice, mercy, grace, love, I couldn’t think of a better way to begin this season of Lent than to be reminded that regardless of my finite condition, my brokenness and my constant failures and shortcomings, the Father chooses to think of me, the Son calls me brother, and the Holy Spirit comforts my heart.

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