There aren’t very many things that I know for sure, however, I’m pretty darn sure of one thing. God doesn’t feel sorry for me. He hurts with me. He understands my pain because his son has walked further in my shoes than I will ever be required to. He sees me and he’s merciful towards me at a high cost to himself. In all of that though, feeling sorry for me is not part of the equation. In my more sensible moments I’m very thankful for this. To feel sorry for someone or have pity on them implies that they are at a place that cannot be helped or changed.
When God looks at me he sees me inside of the fulfillment of Christ. Because of that, there’s always more that I can do. More ways that I can grow. More strength to be bench pressed out of me. More Christ-likeness that I can press on toward.
Lately I’ve been struggling though. The idea of not being enough has been screaming in my face. I know I’m not alone in this. Many of us share this fear that we will never be enough no matter what we do. If we’re all being honest, I doubt anyone is fully exempt from this nagging concern.
There are no doubt seasons where our inadequacies stand out more. In these times our shortcomings rise to meet us every step of the journey. Sometimes these inadequacies are real and need attention to growth. Sometimes they are imagined and therefore embellished by an enemy that knows our Achilles heel better than we do.
Lately I’ve received several various forms of communication telling me just exactly where I’ve fallen short. What I have offered has not met the perceived needs. Few are shy about sharing with me how I have failed to be enough for them. Several broken thoughts have run through my mind and my conclusion is, people trend toward being un happy! If I’m enough in a scenario for one individual, I will be the exact opposite of enough to someone else in their specific scenario. The right words to one person will be the wrong ones to someone else. Sometimes it feels like an unsolvable labyrinth that I should just lay down and give up on. For every “Atta girl” there are 10 complaints of inadequacy. What am I even doing?
With my heart racing and angry tears streaming down my face I heard God’s voice clear and soft, “You will never be enough!” This took me by surprise. Isn’t the message always “Of course you’re enough!! You just have to believe and accept it.” I chewed on this phrase from the Lord for a good long while before I could even hope to swallow it, let alone digest it. But as I began to think on his character, what he was saying to me became evident. He hasn’t ever asked me to be enough for anyone because that’s an impossible ask from God to his created. He’s the only one who will ever be enough for any of us. It’s not my job to be anyone’s version of enough. It’s my calling to point them back to Jesus. My job description is to bind up wounds, but only God is the Great Physician who can heal those wounds. So there it was! In one phrase God answered this lifelong quandary that I keep tripping over.
I tend to focus on all the little darts that hit me. All the human reminders of my value, or lack thereof in many cases. Those aren’t the marks that I should be striving to hit because the reality is, I can’t. The target is always moving and changing and requiring more.
I will always be weighed and measured by people, and I will always be found wanting in some capacity or another. Sometimes it will be true, sometimes it won’t. This is truth for all of us in whatever venue of life God has called us to. We have to remember that we weren’t ever asked by God to be anyone’s fulfillment. I wasn’t asked to be anybody’s perfection. Bind up wounds, yes! That is a job requirement but it doesn’t take perfection. It takes empathy and someone who understands brokenness because they have also been broken. I can bind up wounds but his sufficiency, not mine, is what heals them. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me…For when I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. This isn’t an excuse to stop trying, it’s a reminder of exactly where our value placement rests.
My confession is this, I’m not perfect! But then you all already knew that! I’m thankful for the written and spoken reminders, painful though they can be, because they bring to the surface the humble truth of my calling. I will never be enough for anyone to feel complete and fulfilled and that has never been mine to try and champion though many times I have warn it as my own. Jesus will always be our only hope for sufficiency and together we are to point one another back to him! In him, we are enough! Every time we are weighed, measured, and found wanting; it’s there, by his grace, that we become strong!