By a stroke of luck and some spontaneity I got to have lunch with my friend, Emily, The Nester and Lysa TerKeurst, of Proverbs 31 Ministries. How sweet it was to laugh and chat and eat sweet potato biscuits with these amazing women. I sat there drinking in the creativity, vision and passion for the Lord. Every time I opened my mouth to speak I prayed that something witty, insightful or inspiring would come out. I'm pretty sure I failed miserably and while Emily eloquently described the things to which God has called her, a little voice boomed in my head. You will never be like her, or any of them for that matter, it reminded me. And sadly, I agreed. After nearly two hours, I got in my car to head home and all those thoughts, doubts and insecurities came flooding back. That little voice in my head became a roar, screaming my inadequacies.
The radio came on, much louder than I remember leaving it when I got out of the car. Loud enough to drown out the voice for just a moment. In that moment, it was like Jesus reached into the car, grabbed my shoulders and shook me good and hard. Why are you striving these days? Why are you trying to earn grace? The words filled the car. Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough? The singer's voice wrapped around my heart and squeezed. Look at these hands and my side. They swallowed the grave on that night..I want to give you life. Please don't fight these hands that are holding you. My hands are holding you. The tears came, quickly and freely.
Have I really been striving that much? Have I really convinced myself that He is not enough for me? Have I really been fighting His hands? The unfortunate answer is yes. And probably for a very, very long time. This afternoon I'm realizing that by striving for others' approval and living my life in a manner that says Jesus is not enough, I am totally laughing in the face of what He did on the cross. I am saying His acceptance, and the pain, the isolation He endured to secure that acceptance, is worthless. Living life like I have to wage war on all my insecurity, loneliness, despair and desperation by myself is an insult.
I think a lot of times I forget that, as Emily says, the Gospel really is good news! I forget that He fought and conquered Death and Hell…for me. And I forget that in allowing the voices to scream about my inadequacies, like my lack of eloquence or wit, I am fighting against the very hands that were broken so they could deliver me from all that. I am fighting the hands that want to usher me into a full and abundant life. The reality is that Jesus is more than enough and this battle I insist on fighting is the Lord’s. He has already won it! I can rest in His victory. I just have to give up the fight.
"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…
The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still."