In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

His Love is Enough

Today I got to do someting I really enjoy - drive on a long, deserted, road. I like to drive like that because it gives me time to think. As my mind wandred, I started thinking about last week when I visited my mother; as I thought about that visit I realized that I have issues with "never enough". Not in the terms of not having enough; I've learned to look at all the good in my life and be grateful. But in terms of me not being enough. Last week at my mom's it looked like this... I pull my car up to park in front of mom's house I think again how grateful I am to live in southern California. Here it is mid November and I'm enjoying blue skies, expanses of green lawns, and majestic palm trees that surround mom's neighborhood. I appreciate the Spanish style 1940s architecture of her home as I approach the door; holding my dog Jake's leash in one hand, and several bags of groceries in the other.

After ringing the bell, I sit the groceries down beside the front door, leash up Jake on mom's front porch, and go back to the car for some more groceries. I manage to get in one more trip laden down with groceries, and back to the car to grab the large handled box that contains the Del Taco fiesta pack meal that I've brought for lunch, before mom makes it to the door. Apparently my niece's dog is in the house and my sister has to hold him in the hallway because he has an abiding hatred toward all other dogs. Even though he's only a mostly spaniel mix, he can still become really mean toward Jake, a mostly lab mix, who wants desperately to play with everything & everyone in his world. So I make it into the door, and start making several trips to bring in and put away the groceries; all the while listening to a constant flow of words from both my sister and my mom about what's been happening in their lives since my last visit around a week ago.

After I get lunch set up on the table, we sit down and enjoy the meal and visit for awhile. There's way more food here than we can eat, but I figure as I'm putting the leftovers into the 'fridge, that my niece will enjoy them when she gets home from school today.

Even though my mom is 83yrs old, she's incredibly healthy and energetic, so we take Jake for a 2 mile stroll after lunch. During the stroll my mom talks about all the unexpected expenses she's had recently and I tell her that I've got $40 in my purse I can give her; she's obviously upset - never mind the $40 I gave her last week, or the $15 the week before, or the $20 the week before that - there is the pervasive feeling that I should give her more. I finally came to the conclusion about a year ago to never give more than $40 cash directly to anyone in my family, and better yet to, whenever possible, just give food or fill their gas tank for them. Because if I give a member of my family cash today, it will be gone tomorrow. Sometimes it really is gone due to the purchase of necessities, but sometimes it's gone due to buying some stupid, un necessary thing; so better to only give a little money so they will need to use it on necessities.

But none the less, I'm feeling guilty. Second guessing myself about being a good daughter; I mean it is my mom here saying she needs money. I remind myself that I've thought through my actions, that I don't have to please everybody. I can feel my anxiety mounting, and I've got that old familiar feeling of not doing enough, of not being enough, of not being able to fix things in my crazy family and make them right. . . .

Today as I was driving and thinking about some outreach opportunities I'm involved with, I realized that no matter what I do, I have that same not enough feeling - frequently I end up feeling like I should give more, do more, be more.

But then I hear that sweet, small voice telling me that I'm loved. That God doesn't want me to live up to expectations, He wants to be in relationship with Him. Out of that relationship, loving actions toward others will naturally flow. I'm reminded of some words I read in Brennan Mannings's "19 Mercies: A Spritual Retreat" yesterday. So when I got home I re-read those powerful words:

"You know, Mary Magdalen would have been buried in history as an unknown hooker, except for thing - her reckless, passionate, uncompromising love for the Person of Jesus.

Is your relationship with Jesus marked by reckless love? Authentic Christianity, according to the Word, is this: It's the thrill, the excitement, of falling in love with the risen, living Jesus Christ. He shows us the way to the Father, He pours out on us the Spirit of Pentecost - not so we can be nicer people with better morals, but brand-new creations, human torches ignited with the flaming Spirit of the living God."

I want to say my relationship with Jesus is marked by reckless love; but too often it's marked by me trying to measure up, to be really good. I'm so grateful that He loves me anyway and keeps working with me so I can change, from the inside out.

What about you, is your relationship with Jesus marked by reckless love?


photogr said...

I don't know if you can call mine reckless love for Jesus at my age, but I do consider it passionate in a mature way.

Michelle said...

I'm so happy I had a few moments before dinner to read this. Tracy, I deal with the exact thing. Especially with my family. I'm constantly feeling like I can fix everything and anything. We've dished out money (which I've learned the same lesson you have), groceries, you name it. It's just not enough.

Sort of like my post reply yesterday with your guest blogger, I feel pathetic. All these expectations cross out (or belittles in perspective) what I desire the most and that is grace.

But you know what else I've a believer, we may always agonize over "not being enough" because we realize how little we are to the man of Christ.

Denise said...

So thankful that God loves me just as I am.

RCUBEs said...

I think the amount of money is not important but the thought behind it and the love in it. We can't correct all wrongs. So there will always be "not enough" no matter what. That's what happened with me, too, helping out some siblings back home who lost their jobs. I don't want to give them too much that they become irresponsible.
I love our Lord but I'm still a big work in progress. I'm glad He's always forgiving and loves me [us] for who we are. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

I will try to remember that "being enough" is simply living a life for Him. Thanks!

Tracy said...

Photogr - passionate is good at any age! May we all burn with passion for our Lord

Michelle - I totally resonated with your comment about feeling pathetic yesterday; when I wrote this today I even thought about you, and, given what you'd written thought you might be able to relate. Sometimes we can just get a feel that someone may have some similiar experiences and struggles.

I'm so grateful that He loves us just as we are too Denise.

Rucube-I'm so grateful to have you as a sister in Christ. Your response here reminded me of something a pastor's wife once said to me about a woman who we were trying to help - that she felt like anything we could do for this woman would just be a drop of water in the ocean of her need. I'm so grateful that our God is all powerful, that He's miraculous and it's His power that I need to connect to and rely on (I feel the not enough when I'm looking to me. As Michelle points out, of course I'm not enough - but Jesus is enough)

Marty - I'm with you in gratitude that He is enough!

BeadedTail said...

Your posts are always so thought provoking and help me look at things differently. Thanks!

Deborah Ann said...

I'm so thankful for finding you. I have a soft spot on my heart for anyone who loves Jesus with reckless abandon. I'm so right there with you...

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