Updated: Apr 8, 2021
This is an adapted excerpt from my new book Take Heart: God's Comfort for Anxious Thoughts now available for PREORDER!
“It’s so easy on a Monday morning to sing the chorus of “not enough.” I wake up with the fuzzy feeling of not enough sleep. I go through my morning routine, chanting, “not enough time.” I leave the house with not enough coffee, not enough patience for my kids, not enough gas to get where I’m going, not enough makeup for my not-enough face. It becomes an infection that contaminates my every thought and experience. As I sit in the stew of not enough, my mind reaches for more ingredients to feed the negativity and self-pity until I am fully steeped in ingratitude. It’s the perfect recipe for a bad mood and a bad day.
Not enough is a shape anxiety takes in our lives. It burrows into our hearts and resurfaces unbidden, coming between us and God. It blinds us to God’s activity in our lives and suffocates our trust beneath a malaise of doubt. Throughout the Old Testament, we see this anxiety bubble up in the Israelites. God performs astounding feats for them, freeing them from slavery in Egypt, miraculously dividing the Red Sea for their safe passage, going before them in a pillar of light to lead them through the wilderness. Yet the minute they feel discomfort, weariness, or uncertainty, the grumblings of not enough begin.
How quickly the Israelites forget God’s willingness and ability to provide!
But my own ungrateful heart echoes their ungrateful cries, raising the same chorus of doubt and desperation when I get caught up in my own thoughts of not having what I think I need. Too easily I sink into the despair of the moment rather than standing on tiptoe to look back and remember all that God has done to bring me where I am.
Can you relate to this ballad of not enough?
Is it a chorus that repeats on Monday mornings or a tune that’s stuck in your head—the words resurfacing in inconvenient moments?
Maybe you have good reasons to feel like life is not enough right now.
Maybe you’re walking through a difficult divorce, a debilitating diagnosis, or the death of a loved one.
Maybe you’re in a season of not enough as you stretch to meet the demands of your job, your husband, or your children, and there just isn’t enough time, money, or energy to meet their needs and your own.
Whatever your tune of not enough sounds like right now, let’s pause to acknowledge it.
The ache of desperation and need is real. It beats like a death drum, drowning out and distracting us from God’s goodness and the good in our life.
The feelings are real, and the difficult experiences that lead you to this place are also real. The anxiety over not enough that keeps you up at night and hijacks your thoughts during the day is painful and valid.
Too often, I see and hear messages that try to put the Jesus bandage over wounds rather than spending time with people in their hurt. We see in the Bible that Jesus doesn’t put a ban- dage on the hurting—He enters the lives of the suffering and sits with them and touches them and cries with them.
Sometimes, the very thing we need in our own place of not enough is someone with enough time and compassion just to sit with us and gently help us see things with fresh eyes. Some- times, this looks like abiding with God in quiet as He lovingly removes the thorny thoughts that plague and push us into a scarcity mindset.”
He enters the lives of the suffering and sits with them and touches them and cries with them.
I believe that suffering, and seasons of “not enough” have something to teach us.
Join me again next week for this two part series, where I'll continue to unpack how we can grow closer to God in our seasons of “not enough.” And more, how we can find fullness and enough when our lives look bare.