This has really been a tough season for me in so many different ways. I’ve never felt as low as I do right now, but I’ve never reached a greater epiphany than I have the past several days.
For the first time in my life, I’m experiencing what this whole theology of God being enough actually means.
I never believed it before.
Of course I would never say that out loud though.
God forbid I would actually share with someone that I don’t feel like God is enough.
But it’s real.
When I’m really honest with myself, I don’t think I’ve ever felt what it’s like for God to be enough for me.
Sure I try to make myself believe that He is.
I never directly think, God, You’re not enough for me.
My thoughts are much more clever and deceitful than that. My thoughts get me to trust in a feeling over what I know. I’ll think, Hmmm, maybe I’ll indulge in that and it will make me feel better. All the while, God is far from my mind in that particular moment of pleasure- indulgence.
It’s as if I’m saying, God might be enough…but if I had God and that then life would just be perfect.
I’ve been living with this mindset: God = happiness. But God + what I want = ecstatic happiness.
This mindset is just not right.
I’ve never been convicted over it until now.
Inadvertently, my flesh has been tricking my mind into a pattern of running to something else in addition to God to make me feel better; therefore priming me to assume that God, by Himself, is not enough for me.
Even in my deepest moments or seasons of satisfaction in the Lord, I find myself running to pleasures that I just want to run to.
I can know everything there is to know about theology and the Bible, but if I feel a certain way, no amount of knowledge can change that. It just can’t. And I’m going to have to figure out a way to let my knowledge inform my feeling.
And for the past couple weeks I’ve been feeling really down.
I keep trying to medicate my feelings with things that usually make me feel better.
But this week has been difficult.
Something happened that has never happened quite as strongly before. It’s as if everything that I run to to make me feel better doesn’t work anymore.
This has never happened. Even in the past when I realize that something isn’t really enough there’s always something else. Or I end up going back to it again hoping that it will deliver like I want it to.
But this time, I can’t find anything to run to.
It’s all leaving me empty.
I have nothing anymore to numb my anxiety, my worry, my pain, to absolve myself of this emptiness I feel.
I’m running out of numbing solution.
Things that make me feel better. For me, it can be daydreaming, music, movies, busyness, lust, isolation, food, escaping… the list can go on and on.
But everything I’ve ran to over the past week hasn’t worked.
I keep having this thought: “…okay…what now? What did that solve?”
It didn’t fix my brokenness.
It didn’t heal me like I thought it would.
The weight of the brokenness of my life and the brokenness of this world is upon me right now. There’s so much pain here. So many people who need help. So many situations that just shouldn’t be. So many catastrophes in this world that don’t make sense. I see now that this life is not meant to satisfy me or anyone for that matter.
What’s the point of it all?
What is meant to satisfy us?
So I had an epiphany.
And while it has helped me drastically today, it also has potential to be depressing. So I have to make sure I articulate it correctly.
I’ve been looking at my life all wrong.
I keep looking for ways to satisfy myself.
Maybe that’s not the point.
Maybe I need to let go of that expectation to be satisfied.
Because I don’t have the fullness of what it’s like to have God be enough for me right now since I still live on the broken side of eternity.
I can’t get the full effect of what it’s like for God to be enough for me and be satisfied in Him right now in this life.
I have no clue what that will mean or what it will feel like.
Life is a constant reminder of what I don’t have. My body tells me that I don’t have enough to be happy. My mind tells me that I don’t have enough to be happy. My emotions tell me that I don’t have enough to be happy. My circumstances tell me that I don’t have enough to be happy. My pleasures aren’t enough. I see brokenness all around me.
All of that is pointing to something: a future hope.
Not a right-now hope.
A future hope.
Jesus coming back.
1 Peter 1:8 says, “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” This is what I’m praying for myself and for others. That the hope of Jesus coming back would permeate every part of our lives with joy.
That is what I’m hoping in now.
Nothing else but Him.
I’m not hoping in this life to satisfy me anymore. I’m just not. I will focus on doing whatever He wants me to do for Him and striving to help somebody with whatever little I have left.
God wants me to understand something: nothing in this life is meant to be enough for me.
That’s why I’ve been coming up empty with everything I run to for pleasure.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this so strongly until now.
The promise of Jesus coming back one day is the only thing meant to be enough for us.
(Here are some verses talking about Jesus coming back: Matthew 24:30-31, 37-39; Luke 12:37-38; John 14:1-3; 1 Cor 1:7, 4:5; Col 3:4; 1 Thess 3:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:7-9; 1 Peter 1:13, 2:12; 2 Peter 3:2, 8-10; rev 1:7-8, 3:11, 16:15, 22:12-13, 20-21).
I love Revelation chapter 1. I can’t get enough of it. I want to see Jesus so badly. And not just see Him, but be with Him. Right by his side. I don’t care what I have to do I just want the chance to be with Jesus wherever He is at in the New Heaven and New Earth. I’ve spent enough time away from Him and I just need Him now so bad.
I’m realizing that all I really have in terms of lasting pleasure is the hope that Jesus is coming back soon. And God had to take me to an all-time low to get this.
So now I have a different equation in my mind: Hope of Jesus coming back = happiness.
All I have is this promise.
So I’m living on a promise.
The promise that He is indeed coming back.
And that means I don’t need any more numbing solution. If I feel pain, brokenness, worry, heartache, anxiety, etc, that’s just a product of this fallen world. It’s inevitable. I can’t numb it anymore.
Because in the moments of feeling the weight of it, I am actually postured to recognize that God Himself is the only hope I have…so I must wait on His Son to come back. And little by little, as I start to train my mind to embrace this new equation of the hope of Jesus coming back as being enough to make me happy, I know that I will start to be at peace. It is freeing me from an unattainable hope I had formerly placed in myself and in empty pleasures.
I pray for you in the broken parts of your life and in the pain that makes you run to things for pleasure. I pray for God’s spirit of freedom and of release. I pray that when we start to doubt the promise that Jesus is coming back for us that the Holy Spirit would remind our hearts what’s true. I pray for joy to fall from heaven. I pray for strongholds to be broken. In the name of Jesus, may we stop running to numbing solution for what’s painful in our lives and simply let the promise of Jesus’ return be enough to sustain us. Thank You, Lord, that You are coming back for us soon. And when it’s hard, Lord, please have mercy on our weaknesses. We wait for You.
“Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a Son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around His chest. 14 The hairs of His head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, from His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full strength.
17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.”
Questions for Today:
- Is it easy for me to run to various pleasures to numb certain feelings or pain in my life?
- What are those things?
- Do I ever feel satisfied from it? Why or why not?
- Why do I not feel the full effect of God being enough for me in this life?
- Why is it important that I not numb my pain but let it redirect me towards a future hope?
- What is our future hope and why should that give us peace in this life?
“Holy Spirit” by Kari Jobe Carnes ft. Cody Carnes