“If I remember correctly,” Stan said one morning, “I told you about the farm I grew up on, that it was all dry-land farming without any irrigation except for what fell out of the sky.”
“I remember,” I replied, “and some years there wasn’t a whole lot of rain to help the crops grow.”
“Exactly,” Stan said. “And when there wasn’t much rain and the wind blew, usually out of the west, there could be a lot of dust in the air.”
“You mean like dust storms?”
“Yeah,” Stan replied. “I remember times when you could see a dust storm coming from a long way off. The sky would get real dark and then it would hit. Dust blowing everywhere.”
“I’ve never seen a dust storm,” I replied, “but I can imagine it must have been kind of scary.”
“You’re right,” Stan said. “Kind of scary, but not as scary as the dust storms Jesus talked about.”
“Jesus talked about dust storms?”
“Well,” Stan replied, “not exactly dust storms, but He sure did tell His disciples to shake the dust off of their feet and travel on when they weren’t received or when the people didn’t listen to what they had to say. And if you look at all of the people who have done that down through the ages, and the number of people who continue to do that, it’s quite a dust storm!”
“Maybe,” I said, “that’s why so much of our world seems to be getting a lot darker; maybe there’s too much dust in the air.”
“Could be,” Stan replied. “But just because there may be a lot of dust in the air from so many people not welcoming and not listening to the truth, it doesn’t mean that’s the end of the story.”
“Let me give you an example from the person I know best.” Stan said. “I was very slow in coming to faith. So slow, in fact, there was a time when some people gave up on talking to me about it. They quit talking, but they continued to pray for me, and I believe that because of those prayers I was eventually opened to hearing, accepting, and embracing the truth of salvation, redemption, life eternally with God when it’s time, and the eternal life of knowing Him and Jesus on this side of eternity.”
“So,” I replied, “those people may have shaken the dust off of their feet, but they didn’t stop caring by praying, is that it?”
“That’s it, my friend,” Stan said. “It may be okay to shake a little dust, but don’t leave it at that!”
Bible verses to consider:
And any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust from the soles of your feet for a testimony against them. Mark 6:11.
And whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust of your feet. Matthew 10:14.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when my time here is done, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus before then. Thank you, too, for those people you sent into my life, the ones who were diligent in presenting that truth to me and in praying for me to believe, accept, and embrace the truth. Thank you they did not give up on me. Please help me in following every step of your lead so I do not give up on anyone you bring into my life. Help me to continue to present the truth and to pray for each person you bring before me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have the assurance of redemption and salvation for when your time here is completed? If no, why? If you do have that assurance, it is likely because someone presented you with the truth and prayed for you. Do you thank God for that person? Are there people in your life who have not yet come to faith? Are you talking with them about it? Are you praying for them? If you sense the need for change in your life in how you reach out and pray for others, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?