As we enter the season of Lent, many of us consider what we can give up for Lent.
Two years ago, I tried to give up pride and last year I tried to give up impatience. Unfortunately, I was not overly successful at either. This year, rather than giving up something, I am choosing to take up something. During Lent, I am going to rely on the Spirit’s power to help me be more content. And I don’t just mean a contentment with the number of things I have, but a deeper, richer contentment of the soul.
I have always marveled at Paul’s ability to say, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” That is surely a supernatural gift of grace from God. No matter how much I try, I always seem to want more. Our culture is built on “more.” How can we break the hold this ideology has on our souls that keeps us from gratefully enjoying and celebrating the gifts and moments in each day? Perhaps, the fact that God alone is enough for all our needs will bring us to a place of contentment.
Every human being has deep-seeded, innate need to feel loved, accepted, and that we belong. Yet loved ones, friends, church members, co-workers inadvertently make us feel devalued, unimportant, alone. If we rely on humans to fulfill our need for love, we will never be content. God’s love for us and His unconditional acceptance is more than enough. While we will never be able to comprehend His love, we can choose to open our hearts to receive it. I have this phrase posted by my computer to remind me that God’s love and acceptance are enough: “Who you are at this moment is enough. Let me love you as you are.” At this moment, I am enfolded in His love and I am content.
Many of us struggle to be content because we want to be the best, to be perfect, to excel. God does want us to work at becoming more Christ-like as we crucify the old sinful nature and cloth ourselves with the attributes and attitudes of Christ. But when that healthy desire for spiritual maturity becomes a source of discontent and discouragement, we need to fight the lies we aren’t a good enough parent, employee, leader, etc. with the truth. The truth is: in God’s grace economy, we don’t have to prove ourselves to Him. He is enough. His grace is enough. His Spirit is enough. Who we are right now is enough, and He is pleased with us. We are good enough because God is good enough. I am enough because God is enough. I am resting in His “enough-ness” and I am content.
Not only do we humans strive for love, acceptance, belonging, and perfection, we are living is a culture that proclaims that we deserve to be happy! Yet, most of us are dealing with situations and circumstances that do not stimulate or promote happiness. Illness, job losses, family crises, church struggles, death of loved ones rob us of happiness, but they need not rob us of our joy. God’s power is enough. Prayers may not be answered the way we want or at the time we want, but when we choose to trust that His power is enough to use all things for our good and His glory, we can find contentment in all circumstances. I am going through some struggles right now, but my God’s power is enough, and I am content. And with the contentment comes a joy that does not depend on circumstances, but on the knowledge, that God’s grace is enough.
His love is enough.
His power is enough.
His Spirit is enough.
His will is enough.
His mercy is enough.
His presence is enough.
His enough is enough!!
HE is enough!!