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Devotional: Am I Enough?

Am I Enough Devo Pic

 

As some of you know, Josh and I were married in June of this past year. At the time, I was working a full-time job and was preparing to go back to school full-time in the fall. Classes started in August, and it quickly became apparent that juggling my roles as a wife, an employee, a student, a dog/cat/horse mom and an active member in our church was A LOT. So, we prayed. We looked at our finances, talked about priorities, and concluded that leaving my job to focus on school was best for our family. Our initial plan had been for me to leave my job to finish my last semester of school earning my bachelor’s degree so that I could begin a master’s program in the spring. Although I struggled with the concept of letting go of my job and my independence, I was excited to begin working on a master’s, knowing that with that degree I would be empowered to do more with my career. Then, in November of last year, Josh and I received the greatest surprise of all: we found out we were expecting! While we were completely thrilled with this gift from God, it meant that we had to, once again, pray and re-evaluate our future plans. After much consideration, we decided that it would be best for me to hold off pursuing a masters for the time being. Although these decisions were prayed over and Josh and I knew they were right for our family, I found myself wrestling with this feeling of inadequacy. I am unemployed, I am not a student, and I am not technically a mother yet, so who am I? What am I? How do I identify myself in my current place of life? Am I enough? Most days, it doesn’t feel like it.

Have you ever listened to a sermon and felt like it was directed specifically at you? That was me on Sunday. As I listened to Pastor Barry talk about the chief priests and the scribes who wanted to arrest and kill Jesus, I realized that I was just like them. In my desire to place my identity in my career or the things I was working towards, I have rejected the work of Jesus and sought to replace Him in my life and my identity. I have sought to put my worth in my achievements and progress instead of the work of Christ. As Pastor Barry said, Jesus exposes our legalism and our desire for religious performance to make us worthy. He makes it impossible for us to use these things as a means to approach God. Instead, His act of submission and sacrifice means that the only way to approach God is through His grace while resting and trusting in the identity we have in Him.

In this time where I am not identified by a career or something I am “working towards”, I have been struggling with feeling like I am not enough on my own. And in this struggle, Jesus has met me in my desire to place my identity in the things that I do instead of the person I am in Christ. In Mark 14:3-6, Mark tells of a woman who comes to Jesus as he is sitting at the table and breaks a flask filled with expensive perfume to pour over his head. While others are scolding the woman for wasting such valuable ointment, Jesus tells them to leave her alone because she has done a beautiful thing to Him. As I contemplate the act of this woman, I am humbled by her willingness to honor Jesus. The scripture tells us that the flask she poured over Jesus’ head was worth 300 denarii which would have been about a year’s worth of wages. Although we do not know the identity of this woman (her social or employment status), her willingness to pour out this oil on Jesus tells us everything we need to know. This woman was not concerned with holding onto something that would offer her security or identity in this life; she simply sought to love and honor Jesus.

Although I so desperately want to contribute to my salvation with the things that I do, I am thankful that in His sovereignty, God chose something else for me. The reality is that no matter what I do or how I define myself by the world’s standards, it would never be enough to atone for my sin. God knew this and so He sent His son to live the life that I couldn’t to earn my salvation for me. When I realize this and let this truth permeate my heart, I can forsake the desire to contribute something of my own to my salvation and turn my heart towards Jesus, praising and honoring Him as the woman with the perfume did, for the wonderful ways He loves me and sacrificed His life for me. Dear brothers and sisters, if you are struggling like me with wanting to identify yourself by the things of this world instead of the redeeming blood of Christ, take heart that we can openly acknowledge this struggle and receive the grace and mercy gifted to us by God because of Jesus Christ. And when we turn our hearts to praise Him for this grace, we realize that we will never be enough, but Jesus is more than enough for all of us. In this, we don’t need to worry about what we are doing, because Jesus has done it all - and we find our worth in Him.