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The Importance of Dust

About one hundred years ago a famous British naturalist, Dr. Alfred Russell Wallace, wrote a fascinating chapter in one of his books entitled The Importance of Dust.

I don't know about you, but I have never considered dust to be important. Someone once said that dust was only dirt in the wrong place and I would agree with that. On a windy day, dust can be a considerable nuisance, getting in to your eyes, nose and mouth. If you live in desert regions, dust storms can be a serious problem. Melbourne, Australia often has trouble with thousands of tons of dust descending on the city in hot northerly winds. I doubt if the housewife has much to say in favor of dust.

But back to Dr. Wallace. To begin with he says that the beautiful colors in the sky, the blue of the summer, the tints of sunset, are all due to the presence of dust. He goes on to say that the beauty of the world is due to the ever changing color of the sky, and all that would vanish but for the dust. Dr. Wallace says that without dust the sky would appear absolutely black and the stars would be visible all day. When you realize that these little particles of matter floating in the air are responsible for blue sky, the flush of dawn, the crimson sunset and the colors in the clouds, we have much to thank God for in putting this dirt in the wrong place.

That is not all that dust does for us. Dr. Wallace says that it is because of the dust we get mist and cloud and soft refreshing rain. Without it we would have perpetual sunshine that would turn our land into a sandy desert, while the hills and mountains would be devastated by raging torrents. This would render life on earth impossible. It is the dust that saves us from being burnt up by the sun or washed away by roaring floods. When you wander through the house with the vacuum cleaner, would you have thought that dust was so important?

But dust is not the only seemingly useless thing that God uses. He takes men and women who seem so ordinary and untalented, and makes them play a part in life. Jesus took his disciples, sinners, tax collectors, thieves- people who were often despised and trampled on like dirt - and made them into noble men and women and servants of God The same God who made such good use of dust can make good use of us if we will let him

Have a good week. Pastor Ron

Optional Bible reading: Genesis 1:1-19.

This is one of a series of messages of encouragement originating from the Huon Valley, near Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. A companion Bible study page is available each week.

This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph.