No one likes things unresolved – the strain of not knowing, the questions left unanswered, the problem left… hanging. We long for closure. We want explanations and to have every problem solved in a timely, no surprises or disasters involved way. There should be a tidy ribbon and a dustfree shelf to triumphantly tuck it aside.
But the truth is, life is mostly living in the midst of messiness. Sometimes (often) we must face tension, unresolved issues, and unanswered questions.
What of those who live with a chronic illness? What about those struggling to balance work that is unrealistically demanding yet knowing the financial burden of providing for their family? What about those with strain between family members or perhaps friends, adjusting to the reality that we can only control ourselves (and we even struggle to do that sometimes!)? What of those caring for the terminally ill? Those caring for a baby with sleepless nights or a toddler with tantrums or a child with special needs? The list could go on.
Where can we find the stability, the peace, the closure our hearts yearn for?
It is here at this juncture of life’s tough hardships and messes that we find the sufficiency of Christ.
Our peace, our satisfaction can never be found in good health and perfect families (would those be the families without any people in them??). It is not found in picture perfect homes and grown children. It is not found in a different season or a different person or in wandering down the torturous pathway of “If only.” It is not found in solving “just this one” problem or in being able to confidently say “I no longer struggle with this.”
Our sufficiency can only be found in Christ.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence ~ 2 Peter 1:3
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
How can this be? Whispers our doubts, the world, and our own longings.
Because in our weaknesses, in our messiness, in our unresolved problems, we point not to ourselves and our great triumphs, but to a God who surpasses our wildest imaginings, who works not according to the cruelty and wiles of the world but according to his own far reaching and holy view – that of preparing your heart and mine for eternity with him so that we can say with Paul:
a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Are you struggling? Are there things in your life that are unresolved, unanswered, messy and hard?
His grace is sufficient – for you, for me, and for any who take it with open hands and open hearts, ready to bend themselves to His power and mercy and love.