Is It Enough?
“If we hold tightly to anything given to us, unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used, we stunt the growth of the soul. What God gives us is not necessarily ‘ours’ but only ours to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of…”—Elisabeth Elliott
I sat on the floor of the bedroom, staring into the box filled to the brim with clothes. Bibs with years worth of stains on them, stretched out bathing suits with no elastic left to even hold them up, shoes—little ones—with scuffs and mud… In reality, nothing was worth keeping—every piece was worn out or ragged. Yet, I couldn’t let it go. The bib with the bright orange stains sent my mind racing back to the day they fed themselves spaghetti for the first time. The tiny scuffed up shoes represented hours of imagination in the backyard—of fighting bad guys and saving the day, of trips to space and skinned up knees. The washed-out swimsuit that hung like a limp noodle? Years worth of beach trips and chubby toes dug deep into the sand. This box held so much more than what could be seen with the eye. Every item was a memory.
I felt the conflict building inside me. I had opened this box with the intention of getting rid of it. I didn’t need it—even our smallest child had long since out grown its contents. The time of bibs and ruffle socks had come and gone. And we needed the space for other things. The realistic thing to do was to throw away what was no longer useful. But I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to let it go. Why? Why did I wrestle with this every time? Why did these simple things matter so much?
In reality, this struggle was all about my desperate attempt to hold on to time…in truth I feared the future, the unknown—I feared change. I wanted to cling to what I had, to what was familiar, to what I knew. The thought of closing this chapter of my life and moving on seemed so painful. My problem was not really about clothes or babies or getting older…my problem was about trust. I was struggling to trust that the God who saved me from my past, and held me now in the present, was also preparing me for a future. I wanted promises that my dreams would come true, that our family would grow, that my children would be successful…but God doesn’t give me those promises. He simply promises that He will be with me through all of it. He promises that His perfect will, and even His closed doors, are from His loving hand. The question I wrestled with that day—the question I continue to wrestle with every day—is: Is it enough? Is my Lord enough? Not what He gives me, or what He does for me, but just His presence in my life…is it enough? To know Him and be known by Him…
The answer I am slowly learning is—He MUST be. He must be enough…my all in all. Everything else I must hold in an open hand—my hopes, my dreams, my family, even my future. Only then can I cling to Him as I was created to do.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27