(You’re probably thinking “how in the world does this post relate to Thanksgiving?” (other than finally pushing away from the table saying “no thanks, I’ve had enough”) and that’s a great question! Honestly, I’d written this post for another time but felt like now was the time to post it….so, stay tuned, and sometime soon, you’ll see the post I wrote for Thanksgiving about gratitude…speaking of gratitude, I am so thankful for each and every one of you! Thank you for joining me here and bringing friends to share in our weekly feast of joy – the more, the merrier doesn’t just apply to Christmas, but to every day of the year!)
2 Corinthians 8:12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
Nearly every time I read that verse, I am heartened by a fresh hope. And I hope that it might do the same for you today too…
I have struggled for years and still daily struggle with my many inadequacies in everyday life. Nothing comes easy, especially in teaching and writing.
I am willing and eager to work hard but I know all too well what I can’t do because of limited abilities, intelligence, time, and energy. And the “can’t do’s” overwhelm me so many times every day.
Yet this verse reminds me that my willingness to serve God in whatever He’s called me to do with what He’s given me to do it with is enough.
God asks for my enough in obedience. And obedience is enough even when I am trying to solve equations, explain concepts, discuss strategies, present ideas, or find just the right words. Obedience is enough for whatever is trying its best to overcome me.
Yet obedience is all that God asks. It is enough.
Let that sink in for a minute…
Just like the widow who gave everything in Mark 12:41-44 out of her poverty and was noticed by Jesus for her gift, I can give whatever I have whenever there is opportunity every day and have it be considered enough.
For God Himself makes the obedience to be enough. He has already provided all the resources needed for me to complete whatever task He has put before me to do. It’s my obedience to trust Him and do it in the trust that He is enough. Ephesians 2:10 captures this idea with For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Those good works (from diapers to dialogues, sermons to serving food, prayers to patience, listening to learning and onwards) are acceptable to my God. They are enough when they are done with the willingness to worship Him in the doing, even and especially if I look foolish in the process (see 1 Corinthians 1:27). Those good works, whether they are seen or not, are not for me. God sees me and the works and this is enough.
Again, let’s stop think about that for a minute.
Our Almighty God prepared in advance those good works for us to do. Our Creator God crafted us to do them with whatever He put in or around us. Our Eternal King now considers the good works as enough if we are obedient to do them with willing hearts pressing hard into Him for the strength to complete them (see Matthew 11:28-30).
And there in the closeness, He replaces the “I can’t” with “I Am here”. For only He is enough to replace the doubt with determination, trepidation with trust, and fear with faith. Only He is enough to remind me that He can make my little into His much in the first small step of obedience.
And that first step then leads to another and another until the task is completed in ways that exceed my not-enough with way-more-than-I’d imagined, prayed, or hoped for…
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,
Dear Father God,
Thank You that You alone make my not-enough into more-than-enough when I trust You. Thank You that You alone made me as You planned for Your glory and the good of Your people. Thank You that what You put in front of me often is way-beyond what I can do but that You always teach me You are there with me in the hard. Please help me to receive the good works You have planned for me to do as good gifts straight from Your Hand and Heart. Please help me to see beyond the limits of my days into the amazing road of eternity with this step and the next.
In the strong Name of Jesus,
Written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2021.