A Proper Dusting

Elpis (pronounced “L-peace”, the Greek word for “hope”) the donkey and her antics often leave me laughing. This morning, it was her daily summer beauty treatment. While filling the stock tank near her stall, she walked over to her bare spot and lay down. Next, she rolled back and forth, side-to-side, creating a mini-dust storm. As she’s doing this, she’s braying softly as if to say “Oh Papa, this feels so good!” She stops for a few seconds, examines herself, and then contorts her body in a different position to get the missed spots.

In reality, she is coating herself with a layer of sand that keeps the flies and other insects from biting her throughout the warm spring and summer days. The dust, and sometimes mud in the winter months, also helps insulate them from extreme weather. You might enjoy seeing them in action here (Donkeys Rolling in the Dirt – YouTube).

As I watched her giving herself a proper dusting, God impressed upon me how we too must insulate ourselves from the evils of this world that seek to ensnare us. We do that through applying those often forgotten words in Ephesians 6:10-17.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power
of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be
able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not  wrestle against
flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of
the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in
the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded
your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having
shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all,
taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts
of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God;”
(Ephesians 6:10-17, NKJV)

How often do you leave home without first putting on the whole armor of God? Click To Tweet

As I stood there watching my silly friend playing in the sand, I thought to myself, the armor of God, don’t leave home without it. God also reminded me of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 10:13, which reads, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” That way of escape is going before the throne of God and praying for grace in our time of need. We must pray for God’s help to withstand the temptation before we fall into Satan’s trap. When we pray for God’s help, we can pray His promise. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV)

I don’t suggest coating yourself with a layer of sand, as you get quite dry and your spouse won’t let you in the house. It happens to me every time I rake hay. Instead, consider insulating your spirit against the world by starting your day with a healthy dusting of God’s word; and don’t forget to apply the prayer as often as needed.

God’s blessings,

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56 thoughts on “A Proper Dusting

    1. Aww shucks, as he shoves his hands in his pockets, puts his head down, and shuffles his feet. “You embarrass me with your kind words Mr. Warren.” Like yours, I pray they bring God all the glory sir. Thank you so much.

  1. J.D., I love the analogies God leads you to share. From a donkey to the spiritual armor. Thank you for sharing Scripture God uses to give us the warning about our enemy, as well as the protection we need in the fight.

    1. You are too kind Ms. Jeannie. Thank you! It is amazing how God can use all of His creation to help us learn His ways isn’t it ma’am. As His word says, He uses the least among us to demonstrate that it must be Him. I’m living proof! 😀

  2. Thanks for sharing all the nuggets of wisdom you see around you. May God continue to bless you and your family

  3. Wonderful analogy! I’m continually amazed by how God’s plan for His animals and plants apply to our spiritual lives. I’m thankful He gave you the eyes and heart to use them as lessons and blessings!

    And thank you for sharing them.

    1. Shucks Ms. Candyce. Just tryin’ my best to keep up with y’all ma’am. Looking at that crane this morning reminded me of the time an alligator ate my ball. I just wrote down an “X” and went to the next hole. LOL God’s blessings ma’am.

  4. Thanks again, Cuz. I like being reminded of The Lord’s smile as He keeps watch on you and yours.

  5. I absolutely love this and what a great reminder today to “never leave home without it” – the armor of God. Also I love the names of your animals . Being Greek I knew that word as soon as I saw it!! Beautiful name!

    1. Thank you Ms. Ann. A lovely Greek woman, with an Italian hubby. Oh my, but suppers at your house must be something special indeed! 🙂 So very glad you enjoyed my friend.

  6. What a wonderful post, my friend!
    Of course I love seeing photos and reading stories about that sweet, sweet Elpis!
    I now know why donkeys and horses love to get all dirty like that. Thank you.
    But the best part is how you always connect your “home on the range” stories with God’s Word. This is a wonderful analogy of several levels.
    May God continue to richly bless you, Diane, and your wonderful homestead.

  7. Mr. J.D., I love the posts about your farm, your animals, and life on the farm. Your analogies are always spot on! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Blessings on you and yours!

  8. I love your analogy here! Had to chuckle as I thought about how much that sweet girl loved her dust bath.

    1. So glad you enjoyed Ms. Cherrilynn. We all have a little burro in us now and again I think. It’s comforting to know we can even find relief when we’re in that state of mind.

    1. LOL Yes ma’am! I was wondering who was gonna be the first to make that comparison. I’m certain she can be as stubborn as Balaam’s some days; especially if she’s standing at the fence line waiting to be fed or she wants a horse treat.

  9. Your animals are so smart as they always teach us lessons about life. Elpis gave me a good laugh. As we put on our armor each day, we can remember that we are clad in weapons that defend against those nasty biting flies of the devil. Thanks for your stories, J.D.!

    1. I think, sometimes, much smarter than me Ms. Barb and Mr. Ken. After all, they’re the ones God is using to teach me. 🙂 Thank you so much for adding to our conversation folks.

  10. I love your analogy, J.D. Isn’t it amazing how God has innately programmed animals to physically protect themselves? And those lessons apply directly to our spiritual lives. I imagine God is smiling down on us as we “get it.” I always have put on my spiritual armor of God every morning before my day begins. No better protection from our spiritual enemies! Blessings, dear friend.

    1. Yes ma’am! I keep a copy of “The Warrior’s Prayer” in a display stand next to my desk. It’s something I refer to often. God’s blessings Ms. Karen; and thank you!

    1. Thank you Ms. Cathy. As I’m growing older, I’m learning to listen much more to all that’s around me. Perhaps that’s why God has taken over 50 percent of my hearing as I’ve gotten older. It’s so that I listen to Him more, with my heart.

  11. Awesome post, J.D. In the OT, when you were in covenant with someone you exchanged your armor with them–like David and Jonathon did in 1 Sam. 18. God has given us His armor to protect us from our enemy. Thanks for sharing!

    1. AMEN Ms. Stephanie. I’d forgotten this very valuable lesson. And sometimes my friend, we use our armor to protect those around us too! What a great addition to our conversation! Thank you for this my friend. God’s blessings.

    1. 🙂 Not exactly the best beauty treatment I can think of, but it works for her. 🙂 We all certainly realize we’re missing some part of it now and again my friend.

  12. Great analogy, J.D. Love the Greek word for hope. We do need to insulate ourselves from the evils of this world by never leaving home without being fully dressed in God’s armor!

  13. Great advice to start our day with a healthy dusting of God’s word! Thank you J.D. for a fun story and you do such a wonderful job of turning those daily moments into great bibical insights!

  14. Sorry to be so late replying. Elpis seems like a wonderful member of your menagerie. It always comes down to God’s Word, prayer, and the relationship they usher us into with the Father, doesn’t it? Enjoyed your story again this week.

    1. She sure is Ms. Dottie. She was a late addition to our little family, but we’re grateful to have her. She’s a very good protector of the calves and she is constantly making me laugh. She’s a fun-loving little donkey who loves being around folks. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post ma’am.

  15. My horses do the same in a fruitless attempt to keep away the flies. Of course, they stay mostly dirty. Usually I fuss at them, but now I will think of your message and the reminder to “put on the armor of God.” Always love these lessons you share from the ranch.

    1. You are too kind Ms. Katherine. As beautiful as your “Peaches” is, I can only imagine what you must think of her after she’s wallowed around for a bit. 🙂 Oh, but how we love them. I’m so glad you enjoyed; I just knew you could appreciate the post ma’am.

  16. How fun to watch those donkeys frolic in the dirt. I would have thought something was wrong so I’m glad you knew the explanation as to why they enjoy such an odd exercise. I love how you find the joy of God in the ordinary, or from my perspective, the unordinary!

    1. Yes. They are a constant source of enjoyment. While they play rough with one another, they (Magic and Elpis) are truly a loving couple. It warms my heart to see Magic wake up from a nap in the afternoon sun, then let out a long cry for his “girlfriend” Elpis. She’ll be in another pasture grazing, but she’ll throw her head back and come running to him. Of course, he does the same when she calls. It’s sweet to see how they pal around with one another so much. I could not have found a better mate for Magic when his mama died and left him alone.

  17. J.D., how wonderful to see how God provides protection for the animals and for us! Thank you for this fun illustration of God’s care and the reminder to suit up.

    1. Thank you Ms. Debbie. It seems God gave the animals what they need to protect themselves too. At least they’re smart enough to know to use it. 🙂 I’m not always.

    1. Thank you so much Ms. LuAnn. With so much going on in your lives right now, I am so grateful you made the time to read my post and comment. Am very blessed indeed to have such wonderful friends.

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