Have you ever suspected your life would be better off if someone else had been cast to play your part?
I definitely have.
Perhaps someone more naturally competent. More cheerful or self-assured. Less sensitive. Someone who doesn’t get so easily confused or overwhelmed. (Fill in your own version of amazing.)
I bet I could really pick somebody good. A much better choice than myself.
The problem is, I’d be wrong. And so would you.
The Misleading Question
So often we doubt ourselves, belittling and criticizing our way into feeling like an impostor in our own life, as if God has made a massive mistake in casting us in our role.
We look at our life, we look at ourselves, and we ask the harrowing question:
“Am I enough for this?“
While it might seem like a harmless and even logical question to ask, it is profoundly misleading. A question rigged to get us into trouble. If we answer yes, what do we do with the stack of evidence to the contrary? If our conclusion is no, we plummet downward. Quickly.
The evidence of our frailty, readily available, confirms our suspicions of inadequacy and can drag us down a slippery slope into the dark. The domain of depression, self-harm, and suicidal thinking.
Even when I concede that Jesus in me will be enough, I still find myself concerned that I will mess everything up. Sure, Jesus could live my life well. But I’m involved, so who even knows.
No, I need to get rid of the “enough” question completely. You and I aren’t qualified to answer it. Plus, we have already gotten the part. The fact is, God gave us life. Our existence was his decision. The question is not whether we are enough. Rather we must ask ourselves:
“Am I willing to be used?“
Do you feel the burden lift? This question bypasses the tangled mess of the other one. We are not responsible for God’s choices. He’s the one who decided us into being. As we offer our life to the Lord, it’s his job to figure out the rest.
Even if we surrender ourselves with a grimace and a “good luck,” that still counts. He’s not asking for us to be enough. God simply wants us.
Changing Our Mental Script
What if God knew exactly what he was doing when he created you?
What if God hasn’t made a massive mistake? What if you were his first choice for this role, and for a good reason?
If God is who we say he is, Author of unspeakable beauty, Creator of worlds within worlds, One who holds everything together, then why do we think our design is somehow exempt from his master plan? That we are the weakest link, an error in his otherwise perfect judgment?
What if you were created, not to aim for a life of effortless perfection, but to simply be yourself and follow Jesus?
What if God actually likes you?
The real you, behind all the masks and coping strategies, under the sin he died to cover. The vulnerable, raw-material you.
In Luke 15, Jesus lays out for his disciples a picture of the Father. He is a God who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to search for the one. Who rejoices over the coin that was lost and now found. Who celebrates the prodigal son’s return.
God didn’t begrudge you into his family out of obligation because you technically “prayed the prayer” and won’t stop bothering him.
He is a God who searched for you. Who wants you with him, specifically.
Luke 15:10 says that “there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Pause for a moment and realize what that means.
There was a moment when heaven rejoiced over you.
They weren’t applauding your skill or ability. You turned to Jesus and became a child of God. You are part of his family, dearly beloved. All that his plan for you requires is your willingness to be used.
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent
Abiding in His Love
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Abide in my love.”
To abide means “to accept or act in accordance” with something or “to continue without fading or being lost.” God’s love for us isn’t something we can wrap our heads around. Jesus merely tells us to accept it. To live our life grounded in it.
I’m not saying it’s easy. I still have moments where I fixate on whether I am enough. That misleading question sneaks in to derail me. But when it does, I can make for the bypass. It’s not Am I enough, but Am I willing to be used?
Our role is simply to be willing to follow Jesus. To place ourselves in the omnipotent hands of our God and Father, knowing that he is pleased we are there.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you by my righteous right hand.”