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Articles

You Are Not Enough

Everyone has had those moment when you just know you cannot succeed.

You’ve stepped up to the plate, bat in hand, cleats on feet, and you ready yourself for the swing that you know will hit nothing. The star pitcher that has more strikes than hits is staring at you with a smug look on his face, because he knows you have more strikes than hits also. As the ball leaves his hand, you just know it’s going to hit the glove behind you. You know you are not enough.

You’ve sat down at the table, papers in front of you, laptop open and whining. The colorful bills do not bring happiness, with their “Second Notice” tag plastered across their pages. You know without even investigating that you have more month left than you have money, so you’re playing the “who do I keep happy” game as you pick and choose which bills to pay. You know you need more money, because what you have is not enough.

You get home from work to a quiet house. The kids are already in bed. The wife is watching TV in the bedroom. She doesn’t say hi when you announce you’re home, so you head off to the kids room. The first thing you hear your little girl say is, “You didn’t make it.” You can hear the disappointment in her voice. You can see where the tears have been quickly wiped away when she heard you coming. “I know honey, but...” you begin, but she finishes for you: “I had to stay late to finish.” You familiar with your excuse. And as you leave the room, with your own tears falling, you know that it’s just an excuse. You should have been there and work should have been put to the side. But how can you do that and keep your boss happy. You know you are not enough.

You’ve been lying in bed for hours, hearing her huff and puff. She’s mad. You’re mad. But you’re more disappointed than anything else. Both of you have remained faithful to the other, but you’re not sure how. How could she love someone who fails her so often? Of course she’s angry. You’re angry at yourself. You know you fail as a father, fail as a husband, fail as a provider, fail as a Christian. Is there anywhere in your life where you succeed? The answer is staring at you in the face while you lay in the dark. You are not enough.

It’s the same sermon again. You should worship better. You should give more. You should teach others. You should read the Bible more. You should pray more. You should love others more. More, more, more, more, more! How do you give more when you’re already drowning in what life has on your plate already. You feel, deep down in the deepest parts of your soul, that you are not enough.

It’s true! You are not enough. You are a sinner and all of your best ideas and righteousness is like a filthy rag to God (cf. Is 64.6). You are not perfect even though that is what God requires (cf. Matt 5.48). He expects holiness and we struggle to even define it (cf. 1 Pet 1.16). We can never been enough. But God can!

We might not be the perfect spouse, parent, or Christian, but we have a perfect God who overcomes our weaknesses. God tells Paul directly that His “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12.9). Our weakness is what makes us a perfect child for God, who can love us, protect us, guide us, and give us hope. We need Him, and He loves us for it. So do not despise your weaknesses, but trust in HIm to overcome them. You are not enough—but He is!