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.