I used to play Russian roulette with my debit card at the grocery store.
Tiffany and I would try to get essentials for the week, and while we walked to the cashier we’d get ready to give our best shocked face if the card was declined. Just in case.
We never knew if we had enough. We never felt like we were enough.
We were overweight and underfinanced. And on top of it all, I was the man: I should be able to provide, right? Then the accusations in my head would come flooding in:
You shouldn’t feel this tired.
You can’t afford to be this depressed.
When are you going to man up and do something?
Needless to say, I know what it feels like to not feel like enough. I’ve felt it deep in my bones for years of my life.
So when I tell you that there’s good news, you can trust me. I have a word of encouragement. It’s sweet medicine that comes in a bitter pill.
There’s nothing you can do on your own that will make you enough.
We were never meant to be enough on our own. Being disappointed in that is like being disappointed that a flower needs soil and sun, or a goldfish needs water.
A Jar of Oil
There’s this heartbreaking story in the bible of a woman whose husband has just died. Instead of bereavement pay, she had creditors knocking on her door demanding that she pay them!
Desperate, she asks Elisha the prophet to help her.
(I know it sounds kind of dark, but if you’ve read chapter five of my book then you know where I’m going with this.)
Elisha asked her the one question that would have poured salt in her wounds, “What do you have…?”
Her answer was, “Nothing but a jar of oil.”
You see, Elisha makes her look right at her poverty; she has nothing of value but a simple jar of oil. It’s not enough, she’s not enough.
When I read it I can feel her shame: she’s looking at a jar, I’m looking at a grocery cart.
Then he tells her to pour that one jar of oil into every vessel she and her kids can get their hands on. Amazingly, that one jar keeps pouring out: gallons and gallons.
She pays her debts.
Trying vs. Trusting
We spend so much time trying to convince ourselves that we are enough instead of trusting that God is enough.
God did a miracle: he made the jar more than enough. He can do the same for you.
You are way more important than a jar. What you have to give to the world is unimaginably better than oil.
God is more than ready to work a miracle in you.
God doesn’t want you to try harder, He’s asking you to trust deeper.
“He’s With Me”
Jesus is enough. He is perfect.
Jesus is not ashamed of you.
Sometimes when I couldn’t pay for groceries, people would look away awkwardly. Jesus does the opposite. He walks right up to the cashier and says, “He’s with me, put it all on my account.”
That’s what He did on the cross.
That’s what He loves to do.
The solution isn’t to try harder, it isn’t to muscle your way up the corporate ladder, or to go viral.
It’s to realize that your worth is woven together with Jesus’.
It’s to hear the soft whisper of God say over your life, “He’s with me.”