Enough Is Enough

His loyal love towers over His faithful followers. (Ps. 103:11b NET)

From my 2016 Journal. There’s a part of me that is unable (unwilling?) to receive/believe God’s love for me. Why? What in me cannot accept it?

EnoughThe word enough comes to mind—I’m always trying to earn God’s love. Where is this insidious lie buried in my heart? Somewhere in childhood perhaps. It was the culture of my boarding school to always strive for perfection. Getting anything less than 100 was unacceptable. But I discover it’s not from the teacher; it’s coming from within. Why? What do I believe about myself if I fall short? That I didn’t try enough, study enough, work hard enough? When I make “less than” I feel . . .

Memory:  A fourth-grade spelling test when I drew a blank over the word earnest. I knew it, I had studied it, but for some reason, my brain shut down when the teacher called out the word. I feel a little angst that the teacher will think less of me when she sees my paper. But so what? Because I will think less of me?

Jesus says, “Look into My eyes.” I imagine I see disappointment, judgment, and condemnation. He kneels beside my desk and asks, “Karen, why are you scared?”

“I want to be at the top.”

“Why?”

“The view at the top is more spectacular than the climb up the mountain.”

“It’s exhilarating to be at the top,” He affirms, “but the effort to get there can be fun too. You’re not going to fall. You’re roped in, anchored to Me. And to the mountain.”

“But what if I make a mistake?” I counter. “What if my pitons don’t hold? What if . . . ?”

And suddenly my visual flips to its side. The mountain is an illusion. I’m not climbing UP; I’m moving FORWARD on a flat plane. There are bumps and small hills on the path for sure, but it’s safe. And Jesus walks beside me.

“Do You really love me?” I query.

“I really do.”

“Then why do I doubt?”

“Why indeed?” Nothing can separate me from His love . . . neither height, nor depth . . .

“Enough” is Satan’s word: you haven’t prayed enough, you don’t love enough, you don’t serve enough, you are not enough.

Jesus is enough. “Enough” was nailed to the cross. “Enough” has been filled and fulfilled.

The question is not, “Have I done enough?” The question is, “Am I connected to Jesus?” While in His presence, “enough” is satisfied.

There’s a song we used to sing: “I want my Lord to be satisfied with me.” I understand the sentiment, but I think the wording is faulty. I don’t have to do anything to satisfy Him. I can simply open all the doors to my heart, release all the guilt and shame and hiding, and let Him in. But I can never do enough to satisfy Him. A child doesn’t need to satisfy a parent. A child simply trusts and obeys.

Jesus paid the price, and the Father is satisfied with Jesus. And that is enough.

What kind of rubber band are you?

rubber bands

Some people are so uptight when you’re in their presence that you can feel them vibrate and twang like a taut rubber band. Others are so laid back that they’re limp. Some have souls that are hard and brittle—like old rubber bands that have lost their flexibility, and they break or get sticky.

I want to be supple, usable, and relaxed—but ready for action. Oh, and I want to be teal to represent peace.

Lie-based vs. Truth-based Pain

In my inner healing prayer ministry, it’s important to understand the difference between lie-based pain and truth-based pain. Lie-based pain means that in my hurt, I am believing a lie. For example: As a child I may be blatantly told I’m worthless and good-for-nothing or I might come to this conclusion based on how I’m treated. If I believe I’m worthless, I will hurt as a result. When I face my pain and give it to God, He assures me that I am not worthless. In fact I’m so precious to Him that He sacrificed His own Son for me on a cross.

Empty chair and graveGrief from experiencing a loss is typically truth-based pain. There is a void, an empty place at the table, a loss of relationship with a deceased loved one, a distance from someone who has moved away or a longing for a thing, such as a childhood home. This type of grief must be fully felt in order to be released. Sometimes, however, truth-based pain gets muddled with lies, such as “I could have prevented my loved one from dying” or “It’s my fault Mom and Dad got a divorce.” Christ experienced truth-based pain. It was real. It was heart-wrenching. It was agonizing. But He never believed a lie.

When I read Romans 9:2  (regarding Israel’s spiritual condition) where the Apostle Paul says,  I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart (NASB), I wonder which kind of pain Paul was experiencing. It sounds truth-based. I’ve never personally felt this kind of intense pain before. It’s easy to get judgmental about those who don’t live in peace, especially if it’s due to their own choices. But I’ve never been put into a situation where I’ve felt that much emotion. It’s hard for me to understand or identify with Paul’s pain. In verse 3 he says,

For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren.

I’m way too selfish to think that I’d be willing to change places with someone else and experience eternity without Christ so that that person could be with Him. I don’t understand that kind of willing self-sacrifice. But then I guess I don’t have to. This is Paul’s life, his story, not mine. I’m living a different life, a different story, with a different set of experiences, temperament, and calling.

If you were Paul’s counselor, what questions would you ask Him?