Friday, October 30, 2015

The Sufficiency of God

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Corinthians 12:7b-10 NIV)

I can still remember my late friend, Alan, telling me of an experience he had that was similar to this one Paul had with God.  It was a year or so before his death while in the deep throes of his battle with cancer.  He was alone at home complaining to the Lord about his circumstances, which I can attest were terrible.  Much like Paul, Alan pleaded with God to remove his suffering and, he later told me, the Lord responded with this question, “Am I enough?”

It was one of those singular moments in Alan’s life, which he repeatedly talked about up until his death.  What he learned and shared with many was that God is sufficient no matter what our circumstances.  Alan had to remind himself of this in the desperate times of his illness.  It was never easy; it never is.

Even if we do not have a terminal illness, this is a struggle we always face and the Lord is right in asking us: “Am I enough?”  And for the vast majority of us, the honest answer is no.  That is why we seek out other solutions to our pain and feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.  We don’t trust that He can provide all that we need to make it in this life, so, like Adam and Eve, we take it upon ourselves to make up for the deficit. And like the first couple, we end up in a bigger mess and in a worse way.  

The road of life is littered with broken and shattered lives of people who believed God was not enough for them.  Alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, violence, suicide, eating and anxiety disorders, and on and on the list can go.  The Enemy’s game is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).  His goal is to steer us away from God, as he did Adam and Eve, because he knows that the Lord is indeed enough.  

As Paul and Alan learned, God is sufficient.  We don’t need anyone or anything else.  What we do need, in relationships or material things, or anything else, He will provide.  BUT we must first trust Him and not go seeking to meet what we think we need. 

Today, whatever your needs are—friends, validity of your life, love and acceptance, money—know that the Lord is enough to provide for those. He is faithful and He is sufficient.  

© Jim Musser 2015

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