Last night I sat looking at the fire, disturbed, after we put the kids the bed. Right before we headed upstairs to pray with them they had been laughing and playing altogether – four children, all happy to be together! It seems to happen this way nightly; they may have fussed and whined and shared their bad attitudes with each other throughout the day but come bedtime, and they are all running around together with smiles and high-pitched shrills of laughter. It is a beauty to behold for sure!. And what was I doing during this miraculous moment? I wish I could say I was sitting in delight and wonder and laughing right along with them; alas, my actions were to sit in front of a screen and read about some other family in another state doing amazing things spiritually via adoption, writing books, speaking, teaching their children how to live less materialistic, etc. I do that a lot. I read about what other families are doing and then I pull out my measuring tape. And then, I begin to see how far up we are compared to that family – those parents with those kids – or that married couple in that ministry; and then, I am almost always left feeling cut down to size. So what should have been an evening filled with a light, grateful heart, turned into one where the heart felt scratched at and ripped open and left…wanting. Once again, I saw God’s good gift, and I looked at someone else’s, and I said, “Not enough, God, what we have is not enough. What we are is not enough.” And once again, all of my measuring of the pieces of our lives stole the peace of my life.
The Pharisees, they measured amounts, stuck to letter of the Law, and bound everything together in the tightness of their traditions. Their’s was no peace; their’s was pressure…on every side. They kept their measuring tape in hand, ready to divvy out ladders and status quo’s at every turn.
Christ, though a carpenter who would have measured twice and cut once, never came at people with such expectations. Around 30 years of age, Jesus laid His measuring tape down on the family’s worktable, and He turned His eyes toward His real craftmanship – mankind. He knew Law, He knew Tradition, He knew precision, but more than all of that, He knew LOVE.
When He walked up to Matthew at the tax collector’s booth, He didn’t begin to weigh him on the scales against Andrew, Peter, John, and James. When He sat beside the woman at the well, He didn’t look at her face in light of His mother Mary. When Jesus cupped my face in His hands 17 years ago, He didn’t begin categorizing me, measuring me, evaluating me. He didn’t have to – He knew me. He didn’t want to – He loved me. Christ has never placed the expectation of me being enough on me; He knows that He alone is that – Enough. Christ (alone) is Enough.
This morning I watched Ann’s video on Peace, and I wanted to just share with you her words because they are beautiful and eloquent and everything that I needed to hear. They were, in fact, God’s way of showing me He was sitting right there with me last night while I shed tears and words with my husband (he is so patient with this woman). This morning, via this sweet Sister-in-Christ, He “spoke” back His Truth and Love over the deceit and oppression I felt last night. (The Enemy is still slithering around in our gardens, trying to do what he did with our mother Eve and father Adam…trying to convince us that what God has given isn’t good enough, that it isn’t enough at all.) So, I won’t try to pass on her words through my own; I’ll let her do the talking. If you have ten minutes (give or take), please click on the link and let The Truth and Love of Christ wash over you.
Father, when I look at others and compare their lives, their families, their marriages, their ministries to my own – when I look at my life in their limelight instead of in Your Light, that is when I’m striving, reaching, measuring. If I could just see this day, Your gift(s) for what they are – holy and good – life would be lived in agreement…in unbroken communion…in unspeakable joy…in un-parted peace…In You! My Jesus, thank you for not coming at me with a wooden measuring stick. Instead You came and were placed in a wooden box – a manger – and You invited me to come close as You hung, arms open wide, on a wooden cross. All measuring lost in the expanse of Your love. Love came down in order to raise me up. I don’t have to climb or strive or compare; all I have to do is see…You. You are my Everything. You are my Way. You are my Perfection. You are all I need…there is none beside Thee. You are my Enough! Selah.