Monday, November 17, 2014

enough

I have a prayer that I've been praying for a long, long time. It has yet to be answered.

It goes something like this:

Dear God, Please heal these horrendously ugly varicose veins on my legs. Amen.

Sometimes I feel like that's a prayer that could be answered in a way that would blow me away. He could actually answer that prayer, and I would sing hallelujah at the top of my lungs. I'd also show everybody my legs, even though the Dear God, please let me be tan has also not been answered and would be a miracle in and of itself. (Just as an aside, country music these days is all about the long, tan legs, of which I have neither, and it's starting to make me mad. There's more to a girl than long, tan legs, Jason Aldean.)

Sometimes I worry that I'm not enough. Or that I don't have enough.

I'm not talking about money or possessions. I'm talking about the enough that makes you feel like life is worth getting up for every morning.

One of my biggest worries in life right now? My kids. And my parenting skills. I often wonder if I have the grit and the determination it takes to be a good parent. My perfectionist tendencies veer me off-course sometimes, not allowing for mistakes. And then my brain speaks up, a reminder that in real life, mistakes happen. Of course we will make mistakes. Everybody does. But even so, I still wonder, with that little voice that speaks up in the back of my head: do I have what it takes to be a good parent to my children? Am I raising them to be good citizens, unselfish and proactive, givers instead of takers, faithful and loyal, and followers of Christ?

Mostly, I feel like I'm severely lacking in resources when it comes to parenting. I don't feel like I have enough to complete the job--and be good at it. Why? Because often times, I find myself staring out the window, wondering if the decision I made was the right one. Or if I acted quickly enough. Or if I'm too strict. (That's a big one right now.)

The Lord turned to him and said, 
'Go in the strength you have and 
deliver Israel from the power of Midian. 
Am I not sending you?' 
He said to Him, 
'Please, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? 
Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, 
and I am the youngest in my father's house.'
 'But I will be with you,' 
the Lord said to him.
 'You will strike Midian down as if it were one man.'
{judges 6:14-16}

I recently read about how Gideon didn't feel like he had enough either--especially when God pared his army down from 30,000 to 300. And then sent Gideon out to defeat the Midianites, who boasted an army much, much, much larger. But God promised to deliver the Israelites, and He did. But Gideon had to have the faith to go in the first place, and looking at those odds, that's a tough place to start.

Here's the secret: 
You're better off with God's 300 than your own 30,000 
because His deliverance is only guaranteed to come through His supply. 
Bigger isn't always better. 
More is vastly overrated. 
Believe it or not, you have exactly what you need 
in time, gifts, talents, provision, and spiritual resources. 
In fact, He has graciously 
"granted to [you] everything pertaining to life and godliness" 
(2 Peter 1:3).
{priscilla shirer, seed}

So even though I feel like I'm running on empty in the parenting department, I've actually been given what I need to parent the children I've been given. Everything pertaining to life. And godliness. So why don't I feel like it?

When I'm feeling like I don't have enough, I automatically look inward, as if I'm expecting my soul to squeeze out one last good idea. But when I'm already feeling empty, looking inward isn't exactly the place to be looking. Faith is a difficult concept to begin with. Everything in me fights the concept of having faith in something I cannot see or hear or feel, but then again, if I could see it and feel it and hear it, then it wouldn't require faith, would it? But even so, I don't often look to the source of my faith for encouragement, and I end up feeling overwhelmed and crushed by the weight of worry and doubt.

Gideon knew he was weak and didn't think he could possibly achieve this lofty goal. But the Lord promised to be with him. And He has made that same promise many, many years later to you and me. He is with me.

I do have enough. In Him.

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