Not Enough

For he said to me “My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” II Cor. 12:9  
The Message

I understand when I see the memes and hashtags that say “you are enough

So many people in this world are drowning in messages of self-loathing and inadequacy, from internal and external voices that constantly remind them that they are not smart enough, not rich enough, not old or young enough, not big or little enough, not healthy enough, not male enough, not white enough, just not enough to matter in this world.

When I see people crumble under the weight of images thrust upon them by others, I just want to take them in my arms and say “you are enough”.

But that’s not enough.

Because I know in the deepest part of my soul, it’s not true.

I am not enough.

When the young man takes his life because he thinks he has disappointed those who love him one time too many.

I am not enough.

When the cancer recurs in dozens of places in the body of one who has been cancer free for decades.

I am not enough.

When the friend who had lunch with you on Sunday is killed in a fiery car crash and you hug his wife and children with no words to say.

I am not enough.

When the parents of a young adult are wondering what has happened in the month since they last heard from him.

I am not enough.

When the young pastor has been called to save a dying congregation and the church bullies are sharpening their knives to cut one more preacher to pieces.

I am not enough.

Not because I lack self-esteem, or a loving family, or adequate training and education, or even financial resources (on a global scale) or the right pedigree or gender or social connections or skills.

I am not enough because none of us were ever created to be enough, on our own. We were created, “fearfully and wonderfully made” to live in relationship, with God and with each other. The church was created, as a living body of Christ, so that together, we could be enough, for each other.

So as we partner with churches and with each other, do not try to be enough within yourself. Do not try to be enough for someone else.

Trust God, who will place others in your life’s path, and you in the life path of others, so that together we can draw on God’s Spirit, whose grace was, and is, and always will be, enough.

Dr. Paul Raybon, our partner in ministry in the Western Carolinas, can help you and your ministry discern how to get from here to there. He is Associate Pastor at Hominy Baptist Church near Asheville, NC and works with churches and leaders as a coach and consultant in visioning, administration, and spiritual formation. For more information about how he can help you, contact him at paul@barnabaspartnership.com.

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