Dropping to the ground or “hitting the dirt”, is a survival tactic, whether you are a soldier or a farmer trapped in a tornado. You don’t proudly stand upright to defy bullets or 100 mph winds. You get dirty, but survive.
Dirt and dust in the Bible are metaphors for humility of faith that saves. Sinners repent and realize that without God we are dead, much like Adam was merely a clod of dirt until God breathed life into him. Job thought he had all the right answers; then he finally admitted, “I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).
The season of Lent features the ashes and dust of humble repentance. This is good for any human being. “Let him bury his face in the dust…..It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3: 29)
The humble repentance of Lent helps discipline our proud and stubborn selves, who need to be kicked to the ground and told, “You’re not in charge here!” Earthly treasures sooner or later deteriorate into dust, but “because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. His compassions are new every morning. I say to myself, The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him” (Lamentations 3:22).
Lower yourself and hit the dust of Lenten humility. You will survive and see what is truly great; the faithful love of the Lord.