I Am Not Enough . . . and That’s Okay

I have to be honest. I’ve got a bee in my bonnet—a niggling thought that won’t leave me alone until I deal with it. There’s a phrase that’s been popping up in my world more and more often of late and every time I see it I find myself reacting, much as I would if a nasty insect was buzzing around my head.

“You are enough.”

That’s it. Just three little words.

I understand the sentiment behind them, the compassionate heart that motivated their creation. People need hope. Particularly those who are in a dark place. But I’m not sure those words offer the hope we really need.

Because every time I read them, all I see is the reality that I’m not enough.

I don’t have what’s required to love my family well, to keep my household running smoothly, to juggle the many balls I tend to gather in my enthusiastic moments. I don’t have the patience to work with high school students in all their moods. I lack the skills to write a book, the perseverance to complete it and the courage to place it in other people’s hands. Sometimes I have a strong urge to run from people who need a listening ear, even when I care deeply about them. Often, I find myself feeling overwhelmed.

I am far from enough.

But that’s okay.

Because I know I was never meant to find all life’s answers within myself.

Sure, I have talents and strengths. So do you. But we’re still human. Finite. Limited. No matter how much we talk ourselves up, most of us reach a point where we realise we don’t have what it takes to continue. For some, this happens at the point of death. For others, reality smacks us in the face on a regular basis.

This is not cause for despair, though. In fact, it’s liberating. When we admit we are ‘not enough’ we take the first step towards a life that surpasses anything we could accomplish ourselves.

I used to be one who was terrified of risk. I kept my perfect little world in order and did my best not to divert from the course I had planned. Meanwhile, God had a twinkle in His eye, knowing His dream for me was going to stretch me far beyond my natural limits.

In our modern culture there’s a tendency to think we need to be strong—capable, independent, able to manage whatever we face with confidence. But, in reality, dependence is the place of power.

Not ‘enough-ness’. Dependence.

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Jesus modelled this when He walked the earth. Even though He was the Son of God, He spoke of His complete reliance on His Father. Without that relationship with His dad, He could not fulfil His purpose.

“I and the Father are one,” ( Jn 10:30) He said. “I can only do what I see the Father doing.” (Jn 5:19)  And look what He did! People’s lives were transformed just by being in His presence.

He beckons us to follow Him, to give up our need for control and surrender our limited selves into His hands, His plan. If we’re willing to let go of our self-focus and embed our hope firmly in His ‘enough-ness’, our inadequacies are dealt with and we are imbued with supernatural strength. That’s when life begins to develop new dimensions.

We notice our steps being guided by a divine hand. Words of insight drop into our minds at just the right time. When confronted with a difficult person, we find love and understanding swelling in our chests rather than anxiety and judgement. People find healing and release through our prayers. We go places we’d never dared and do things we never dreamed possible—all because of His presence with us.

The life of dependence is a life of wonder. Challenge, yes. Risk, yes. But wonder just the same.

Sometimes our gaze drifts back onto ourselves and the struggle of life. We lose sight of the hope He offers and find ourselves slipping. Always He’s there, ready to set us back on course as soon as we reach out and fill us with all that we need. His supply, unlike our limited resources, never runs dry. 

Jesus is not only enough. He is more than enough.

I’d rather find hope in Him than in myself any day. How about you?

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 New English Translation Bible

 

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