Enough

Jul 11, 2013

A therapist friend tells me to recite with regularity these two sentences: “I have enough. I am enough.” Her words translate easily into Christian-speak. “God will provide” and “I am a beloved child of God.” In both versions, I almost always believe the first part: “I have enough and God will provide.” I am grateful for the provisions of the past and present; I trust enough will come my way in the future.

The second sentence is more difficult. I almost never believe “I am enough.” Scripture says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV) Grace is not sufficient for me. Eating tomatoes, watering the basil, and cutting flowers seem almost illegal. Where is the product? What is there to show for this twenty-four hours, this life of many twenty-four hours? I want to justify my existence; I want to earn the right to be on the planet and not just take up space. “Be a great math professor, write good books, post a daily blog, cook tasty, beautiful meals, be skinny and buff, be a perfect wife, end world hunger….” These are the tenets of my anti-grace Confession. My desire to justify my existence is also my desire to boast, to feel worthy and important. It’s not pretty. When I have no cause to boast, then I must condemn. It’s a terrible thing to do to a child of God.

Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist wrote: “In my case Pilgrim’s Progress consisted in my having to climb down a thousand ladders until I could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am.” In my head of heads and heart of hearts, I believe in God’s grace–and not just for some future life but for this very moment. God grant me the grace to walk down the ladder to embrace “the little clod of earth that I am” and to receive the gift of “I am enough.” Let me really believe “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 NIV)