The Tension of Enough
We were sitting on the couch, balling our eyes, completely unsure of what to do.
In November 2013, the Lord blessed us with our first child. Today, she is possibly the sweetest, most caring, little girl in the world. Her beautiful brown eyes and smile light up a room instantly. However, those first few months, maybe even the first two years, were a different story.
Pressure of Parenting
Looking back, we still don’t know any one particular thing it was. It seemed to be a bunch of things. Either way, my baby girl wasn’t sleeping. At all. Ever. The stress of the transition of entering parenthood for us was difficult. Some people enter this transition, and because of many factors, navigate it well.
We were drowning. So, while sitting on our couch one evening, my wife and I were reading a Psalm together, trying to remind our hearts of who the Lord is and His strength for us, and at the same time crying our eyes out.Sleep deprivation was eating our lunch, and we had no idea what to do.
It’s in this season and the ones since then that I’ve begun to learn more of the pressures our culture, and our flesh (what I refer to is what’s inside of every human being) put on parenting.
The online world offers no shortage of information about the latest parenting craze such as “The 10 Things You Absolutely, Positively, Need for Your Toddler.” These messages come rapid fire as we scroll the Internet, and most of the time (not always), they only become more ammunition for the shame we already feel to be thrown back at us.
This isn’t just an issue for parents.
You Are Not Enough?
I don’t think there is anyone who at any point or time hasn’t felt the tension between where they are in life and where they think they should be. The tension between who they are today, and who they think they ought to be.
Whether it’s where we should be in our career or our marital status, or how much money we should be making, or how many close friends we should have, most of the world around us and the inner dialogue of our flesh is screaming “You’re not enough!”
Or, another way I’ve heard this message is, “You’re doing it wrong!”
The reason why everyone in the world can share in this tension, with or without having experienced raising kids, is because there is a disconnect.
There is a cosmic gap between who we are today and who we were created to be. There is a chasm between where we are today and where we should be. And this is actually good news.
So what most of us feel and can sense is the result of a brokenness that has fractured not just humanity, but all of creation (Genesis 3).
The result of humanity’s rebellion against God and his perfect commands means that life is not how it ought to be. When compared with God’s standard of perfection, it’s accurate to say we are not enough. Compared to His perfection, we don’t measure up.
What strikes at the heart of the American mindset is that we can’t just change this or that, “do it differently,” to bridge the cosmos from where we are in our sin to where God is in his holiness and perfection.
God is More than Enough
Have you ever been to a church service before? It’s kind of weird, right? There is singing, and some people raise their hands or close their eyes. There is a time where the pastor preaches from the Bible, this very old book, followed by more singing.
It’s kind of weird, right? Where else do you do something like that?
Christians, those who have trusted in Jesus by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), gather together here on Sunday and throughout the week to be reminded that while they in themselves could never be enough, Someone is. That Someone is Jesus, God in the flesh. The same God that humanity rebelled against, whose standard no one meets because of sin, is the same God who steps into his own creation to buy back or redeem mankind from eternal separation from him (Phil. 2:1-11).
So that now for the believer in Jesus, they are enough, not in the world’s eyes, but in their Creator’s. Christians will still mess up and stumble. But, when they hear the voices of the world telling them they’re not enough, they can confidently agree.
“You’re right. I, in myself, am not enough. But, because of Christ, and his work in his life, death, resurrection, I am more than enough.”