For a brief moment I considered finding one of my most popular blog posts from the past few years, dusting it off, and sending it in for re-posting. Then I realized that would be lying.

The truth is, I find myself like the little boy in John 6 – I don’t have enough. I don’t have enough wisdom or words to fix the situation, to heal the brokenness, to answer the endless questions, or to convince the unconvinced. I don’t have enough creativity to wow the live stream viewers, or amaze the regular attendees. I don’t have enough skill to bring the opposing sides together in the political debates that are tearing apart my community, or the theological divides that are repulsing the younger generations. I don’t have the physical resources to meet the desperate needs of vulnerable families in my neighborhood.

I’m standing here holding five little barley loaves of experience and two small fish of spiritual wisdom.  And it’s not enough. It never was, but some of us are slow learners.

I didn’t want to write this, because I’m supposed to be enough. Not that pastors are superheroes, but I’m supposed to have the answers, the wisdom, the skill, the networks, and the deep well of spiritual resources.

The reason I’m writing this is because there may be someone else who is wrestling with the same challenge. Maybe you’re reading this and COVID-19 has stripped away the last vestiges of competency.  Maybe your preaching or teaching or discipling or leading has not produced the results that you wanted or needed. Maybe you’ve been reaching into the pastor’s pantry and all you could scrounge up were those five little loaves, and the two small fish. And you know it’s not enough.

The right answer is, “God is sufficient.”  Or, “in our weakness, He is strong.” 

What I’m learning is that those truths are easier to preach to others than to myself.

The haunting and humbling words of Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” have echoed thru my mind, orienting my soul toward home.

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough

Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up

Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?

Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing

You say I am strong when I think I am weak

And You say I am held when I am falling short

And when I don’t belong, oh, You say I am Yours

And I believe, oh, I believe, what You say of me

The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me

In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity

My prayer is that when you and I find that we’re not enough, we won’t be tempted to throw in the towel. My prayer is that we could lean into that insufficiency, and to steadfastly offer up our five loaves and two fish. My prayer is that the same Jesus who fed thousands with a meager lunch would continue to supply what our world needs through your sacrifice and mine.

Because I believe.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar Chuck Sutton on August 19, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for such a needy reminder. The words to the song beautifully capture my experience in these past several months, with all that is going on around us and 6 months of seemingly non-stop family health issues. ‘How long, O Lord?’ We need to be reminded we are not alone, that in spite of our sense that we are alone, we are not, and that God is still sufficient. Only he can change my heart, bring me to a new level of repentance and restoration, and that he wants us to embrace our weakness and inadequacy. So we wait on him even as we push forward daily with our weak faith but grounded in our unchanging God, often in a fog. His mercies are still fresh each day as we seek his face. And that we need the Body of Christ to walk together.

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