ENOUGH Already!

Ever feel like you’re never enough?
I live in a house where many of the shelves go up to the ceiling.
The rest of my family is tall. They put things away in places that don’t seem that high to them but they really are.
I feel like I’m always reaching.

I feel like that in life, too.

Do you ever feel that way?

My family doesn’t put this pressure on me. I put it on myself. There are many days when I don’t feel like I can do enough in all the areas of life that require my attention.

Did I teach my children enough? Have I loved my husband enough? Is my house clean enough? Have I worked hard enough at my job? Have I written enough? Have I exercised enough? Eaten enough of the right foods? Been vigilant enough? Spent enough time with my parents and friends? Reached out enough to neighbors? Am I informed enough? Am I frugal enough? Have I loved enough?

It gets worse on Sundays.

I’ve heard a sermon nearly every Sunday for 51 years. That’s approximately 2652 sermons.

If my body bore a message stamp for every sermon I heard, I would be covered with things like this:

Pray more. Read the Bible more. Witness more. Submit more. Worship More. Give more. Reach out more. Reach out further away. Teach your kids. Teach others. Love your husband. Love your neighbor. Love your enemy. Love the person in the next pew. Serve more. Resist Satan more. Be more active at church. Be more active in the community. Be more active in the world. Trust more. Have more faith. Confess more. Forgive more. Be more joyful. Be more repentant. Study more. Share more. See more. Be more.

ENOUGH ALREADY!

This idea that I am never enough, that I must constantly do more, give more, be more – this doesn’t come from God.
Much of it comes from living in a consumerist society where MORE is the message of the media and the motto of every company. This is the season where they ratchet that message up to an unavoidable volume.
It also comes from within my own sinful, fearful heart that places me at the center of my world and somehow believes that everything and everyone depends on me.
It comes from others around me who have, themselves, fallen prey to this haunting drumbeat rhythm of “never enough, do more, do more, never enough, do more, do more.”
When we do it to ourselves, we are likely to pass it on like a virus to those around us.
Or from others who would make me fill the role of God in their lives (and I readily try to fill His shoes).
And it comes from the evil one who wants to undermine the work of God within us.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV).
The Psalmist says, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat, for He grants sleep to those He loves.” Psalm 127:2
And God saw fit to insist that we labor only six days a week and spend one day “resting from our labors.”
It was His way of saying, “Enough. You’ve done enough for one week. You’re only human and it doesn’t all depend on you, it all depends on Me. Spend a day remembering who I am.”

Give someone in your life a gift this week and tell them “You have done enough, today.” “You have loved me enough.” “You have been wife/husband/child/friend/mother/father/worker enough for me.”

Give yourself a rest this Sunday and really take a rest – mentally and physically. Go to Jesus and say, “Enough. I’m done striving. I’m done beating myself up. You run the world, not me. I choose to rest in you today but I’m going to need help! Quiet my mind and free me from the pressure of ‘more’.”

When you worship God this week, worship Him with the words “You are enough for me.”

And if you’re tired of always reaching, remember it was God who reached out for us.

Jesus is the arm of the Lord who is revealed to us and who knew our reach would be too short so He reached out to bridge the gap.
Rest in those arms this week. Rest and know that He is enough – and because of Jesus, so are you.


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16 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Pam Hillman says:

    Lori, this must be the season for reflection. I was just working on a blog post very similar yesterday.

    We’re so used to burning the candle at both ends, just sitting and relaxing is really hard to do, isn’t it?

  2. Just lovely, Lori. And true.

    Merry Christmas, friend.

  3. Great words! Thank you for sharing them with us. It’s so fitting, this time of year and for those of us who feel “driven.” 🙂

  4. So true, Lori! I love how Micah 6:8 simplifies it: “Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

  5. Eric says:

    Thanks for this. It’s hard; I constantly find myself stressed out because I’m not keeping up. I like to think about how I view my children. I don’t go around demanding more and more of them all the time. I just want them to be happy. Surely God treats me at least as well as I treat my children.

    • Great perspective, Eric. I was struck by a friend’s blog this week when she meditated on how patient our God is that He was willing to grow in utero for 9 months! Imagine that! We’re in such a rush with our gospel of “more” but He’s not in as big a rush as we are.

  6. Great post Lori, I call this problem “Stop Shoulding on me!” ha! We should on ourselves badly enough already. I am so thankful that it is not really God who places all of this pressure on us, He is already deeply infatuated with us today!
    At least that’s my story and i am sticking with it!
    Merry Christmas!

  7. Oh how I struggle with this. Raised in a legalistic overachieving household where every compliment came with a “but” makes it hard for me to feel like I ever measure up. Thanks for this timely reminder.

    Reminds me of a verse in one of my favorite hymns, My Faith Has Found a Resting Place:

    Enough for me that Jesus died,
    Here ends my fear and doubt
    A sinful soul, I come to Him,
    He’ll never let me out.

    I need no other argument
    I need no other plea
    It is enough that Jesus died
    And that He died for me!

  8. Thank you for this timely reminder. “Enough already!” is a message to remember all year long. I just might make some paper signs and post them around our home.

  9. Thank You For reminding me that I need not feel so bad when I don’t get EVERYTHING done.
    I have basically been awake for 6 years as of
    this Christmas Morning.
    I Pray for Rest.
    http://www.bycefamily.weebly.com