Enough. Honestly, this word is so 2010! But I sensed the Spirit’s gentle whisper as I listened in for how He might want to shape me this year. Enough. This is my word for 2017. As many of you know, there has been a movement of people who have chosen a new way of shaping a year, not necessarily with resolutions or goals but with a word. A word that whispers what the soul longs for in the days, weeks, and months to come.
As I hiked up to the Cross at Mount Hermon, nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California, I inhaled the invigorating fresh air and invited the Spirit to lead me to “my word.” When it came, I felt a little disappointed. Why can’t my word be PASSION or FIRE or ABUNDANCE?! Then it occurred to me that those aren’t the areas in which I need to grow. I like those words because I already live those words. God wants to take me to a different place. He’s been inviting me to live in unforced rhythms of grace…again…and this year, I’d like to shape my life around it.
It was an early morning last November, when I began to feel frantic and panicky as I looked at my calendar. Standing there in the kitchen, I felt the weight of my life heavy upon the shoulders of my soul. Overwhelmed. Sinking. Drowning. I looked at what I needed to do and I looked inside myself and thought, there is not enough. I am not enough. I can’t do this.
Immediately I sensed the whisper of the Holy Spirit, beckoning me with truth. I had surrendered to scarcity-thinking. I knew that, more than anything, I needed to sit in the presence of God to get His perspective. I got out my journal and confessed the scarcity thinking, simply agreeing with God that I had been momentarily bogged down with the slave chains of this negative thinking pattern. As I agreed with Him, I felt the load lift. Immediately. I asked him to speak peace over me. I began to list all of thing things that were weighing me down, things like preaching the Sunday after this most recent heart-wrenching election, my powerlessness around my children’s choices, pressure surrounding new emerging ministries and my responsibilities to “make them happen,” the feeling of not knowing when I would get a much-needed break…the dread of no end in sight to this level of intensity in my life.
Soon, I heard the invitation of Jesus, “Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NLT)
The burden I give you is light.
I began opening the Psalms to the reading in the Daily Office, bringing me to Psalm 81:6, “Now I will relieve your shoulder of it’s burden; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.” Yes. Thank you Jesus…
I began to think about manna, that miraculous, heaven-sent food that God dropped into the laps of his people as they wandered the wilderness. I flipped over from Psalms to Exodus and found the passage that confirmed what I felt God whispering. When the people began to gather the manna, “everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed.”
Just what we need. This is what God offers and provides. In lovely culmination, Jesus reveals Himself as the manna that comes from heaven (John 6), the bread of life that provides sustenance for our souls, giving us just what we need, enough for each moment.
This is the way God is. He is enough. He will provide enough strength, stamina, creativity, wisdom, grace, rest and whatever else I need for the things HE calls me to.
What’s interesting is that I get most bogged down when I sign up for things that He has never invited me into, things that I feel I “should” do which mainly relates to making people happy. I sure like to make people happy and love hearing them tell me how happy I’ve made them.
But that’s not my calling. My calling is to listen to the voice of the Spirit and do what He says. When I add to this, then it is very likely I won’t have ENOUGH because I’m moving beyond where He has invited me and therefore provided for me.
So this year, I will continue to listen to the Spirit saying, “I am enough” as His provision of unlimited resources flows constantly to me…to you.
He is enough.