When you’re not enough

Oct 28, 2014 by

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Modern life can be demanding. For some of us, it’s a challenge to get the dishes done and enough clean laundry in the drawers to get to work every day. Add kids or other committed relationships and you might be over the edge. Additionally, do you have the latest upgrade? Have you switched from Facebook to Ello yet? Is your job meaningful and fulfilling? How about that thing you said you’d do before you turned 30? How’s your savings account shaping up? Do you need another college degree? How can we stop global warming, since the walruses are coming ashore in Alaska?

We live in a fast-paced world. Americans, in particular, get sold the idealist expectation that we should have it all and do it all, which seems to translate into the impression that we must “be” it all. Less feels like not enough to many people. Many of my friends live with an underlying chronic case of disappointment in themselves and others, or anxiety that sometimes feels debilitating.

The apostle Paul thought it was normal to not be enough. He writes to the Corinthians, “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God choose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is lowly and despised —things that are not — to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who is our wisdom from God — our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

That seems like enough for me. Jesus reveals that possessing and achieving are not prerequisites for being. There are no prerequisites. Period. We are the beloved of God. And having Jesus in the midst makes us a lot more than enough, especially together. Having Jesus in the midst gives us the opportunity to comfort and be comforted. I saw it in the church — in my small group — this week. A friend told me she asked God for something that sounded rather impossible to me. Her request had a deadline too: her birthday. I wondered if she’d be able to hang on to the faith she was struggling to keep if God didn’t answer her specific prayer. A few days later another friend called and said he felt led to pray for this person and give her an anonymous gift. The gift was more than enough to meet the need, and just in time for her birthday.

Our problems don’t always get solved like that, but go ahead and be “not enough.” Reach out to someone in your struggle and let them in. Pray and be prayed for. Your not-enoughness may be just the place that Jesus wants to show up in your life and lead you into something new.

Rachel DeMara Sensenig is a pastor with Circle of Hope, a Brethren in Christ church in Philadelphia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and philosophy from Messiah College and a master’s of social work from Temple University. She’s worked previously as a wilderness camp director with adjudicated youth and a therapist in the HIV/AIDS community. She blogs at rachelsensenig.wordpress.com, where this post originally appeared.


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