Saturday, May 9, 2009

Enough?

I hate feeling inadequate.  Empty by Alifarid

Unfortunately, I get to  feel that way pretty often.  Life is hard, you know.  Some of us regularly find that we’re not up to its challenges.

I can’t be enough!

I read verses like 2 Co. 9:8, and I find myself wondering when those superlatives are going to show up at my door. 

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Where is that sufficiency when I need it?

Tonight I read a wonderful devotional by Karen Hossink at the Internet Cafe.   The words that touched me most were these (based on the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand in Mark 6:30-44):

Jesus takes me into His hands, breaks me, and makes me enough.
Enough of a mother.
Enough of a wife.
Enough of a friend.
Enough of a sister.
Enough of a daughter.
Enough.

I didn’t feel even close to “enough” today.  I felt pretty overwhelmed, to be honest.  Soul-fatigue drained me, robbed me of my smile, made my heart feel like lead.

I had been able to feel Jesus “knocking” sometimes, but my responses had been lackluster at best.  And yet, now that the kids are in bed, and all is finally quiet, and the laundry is done at last, and I’ve worked so hard to accomplish so little, and I’ve stopped beating my head against the wall because I’ve decided that 10pm is too late to try to tackle any more of the items on my largely undone “To-do” list…

Now that I’ve got a few moments when I can actually focus, I’m so glad to feel my heart turning more towards my Lord again. 

Better late than never.

Oh Father, help me!  Where is that promised “enough?”

And His answer comes back quietly, “Enough for whom?”

I feel the meaning behind the words, and it stops me in my tracks.

Who do you want to be enough for?

Suddenly I’m in one of those moments when the Lord puts a mirror in front of my soul, and I’m allowed to see something I never saw before.

I want to be enough for myself!  I want to feel adequate, and strong, and competent.  I admire such traits, and I want to see them in the mirror.

But that’s not what my Father wants for me.

He doesn’t want me to be enough, He wants me to have enough!

Enough of what?  And for whom?

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
2Co 9:8

He does not give me “enough” in myself so that I can admire myself and be admired by others.  He gives me enough of Himself so that I can give to others.

Do I want to be enough for myself, or do I want to have enough for my family?  The focus is so incredibly different, isn’t it?

When each new demand came, did I seek to love the one who demanded, or did I focus on my own scanty resources?  When each new conflict arose, did I seek to draw the combatants to Christ out of love for them, or did I seek to shut them up so that I could feel like I’d “handled” one more thing and eliminated some more ugliness from my world?

If I had taken my eyes off of myself more, and had loved my family more by His Spirit, I might still have exhausted myself physically, but my soul would have been refreshed by the giving.

What’s more, my family might have seen less of me and more of Christ.  As it was, I’m sure they saw me…my fatigue, my overwhelmedness, my frustration at my own inadequacy.  But what if I had been less interested in what I had, and more in what I had to give?

Jesus would have given through me.  And perhaps, if Grace opened their eyes, my family would have seen Him in the giving.

I want that.  Because no one will benefit eternally by admiring me, or loving or trusting me.  People can perish forever while thinking very highly of me.

I want them to admire Jesus, to love Him, to trust Him.

Dear Father, take my eyes off of myself!  Remove my prideful desire to be enough, and grant me the humility to want to have enough from You so that I can serve others for Your glory.  Help me to love others unselfishly!

And dear Lord, please do not give me any sufficiency that I could call my own.  Instead, please be my sufficiency, and give me Yourself!

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

5 comments:

Mary Moss said...

Oh, Betsy, I am completely convicted by this post. So often I fall into this same trap (daily? hourly?).

I am so grateful you were able to find peace before the end of your long, trying, exhausting day.

I am going to bookmark this post for frequent revisits.

Blessings to you on this Mother's Day my dear sister in Christ.
Mary

karin said...

All I can say is AMEN and AMEN!

Ed said...

Hi Betsy:

"Because no one will benefit eternally by admiring me, or loving or trusting me. People can perish forever while thinking very highly of me.

I want them to admire Jesus, to love Him, to trust Him."

This reminds me of the verse in Philippians that says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." 2:3 Thanks for the encouragement.

Tami Boesiger said...

Ouch! I'm guilty.

What a better way to think of being enough. I will remember this--Enough for who?

Great point.

Sherri Ward said...

I needed this one today! It is quite encouraging, and goes along with something I realized while enjoying my family yesterday - that I don't have to strive beyond His grace - to go further in an area than He may be calling me to. Enough is enough!

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