Wednesday, July 29, 2015

When you don't feel like you have enough



“I just don’t have enough…..”  These words come out of my mouth countless times each week and the thought crosses my mind even more often. “I’m just so tired….I never seem to get enough sleep.” “I have so much to do….there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done.” “Sigh….I’d really like to buy that….or go there….or…..but there never seems to be enough money left over after paying the bills.”  “I’d really like to help out….or visit…..or answer/read ALL the e-mails I get…..or do this…..or see that……BUT……I just don’t have enough strength, stamina, or energy….or whatever” 

How about………. “I’d really like to lose weight or give up smoking/drinking/gambling, etc…..but…. I don’t have enough willpower.”  “I don’t have enough motivation or discipline to commit to 20 minutes of walking/exercise a few times a week.”  I don’t have enough time to prepare healthy meals or enough money to buy produce/vegetables.”  I don’t have enough faith to believe that I can do it. I don’t’ have enough strength to stick to a plan. I don’t have enough   THIS….or THAT. 

From time to time (sometimes more often than we want to admit) we all are guilty of using the “I don’t have enough” excuse.  Sometimes, it is really true….and our life circumstances get so overwhelming that we are pushed to the edge and stretched until we think we are going to snap.   This weekend at Mass, I heard the famous Scripture passages feeding the crowds….and it really got me pondering about ENOUGH. The same type of story came from both the Old Testament (Elisha) and the Gospels. I have no desire to offend anyone who does not share my Christian faith, but perhaps you have a similar story in your faith tradition that will speak to you in the same way.

 In this particular gospel from John, crowds of people numbering around 5000 men had followed Jesus across the Sea of Galilee to hear Him speak. Some were sick and in need of healing. Some were distraught and discouraged and in need of encouragement and hope. Some were lost, scared, alone and in need of light, love, and forgiveness.  They knew He had what they needed to change their lives and make things better. Hmmm………..  They listened for hours without any thought of food or time, but hours passed and they became hungry. The apostles went to Jesus and told him that the people were hungry and they didn’t know what to do. All they had amongst themselves was five barley loaves and two fish, certainly not enough to feed the crowd. They exclaimed…. “ What are we to do; the people are hungry, and WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH.”  Jesus told the apostles to bring the bread and fish to him, at which point HE blessed it and gave it to the disciples to feed the people.  Everyone ate all they wanted….and not only did they have ENOUGH….but there were 12 baskets left over!

My friends…..the bottom line is this….the apostles did not have enough food ON THEIR OWN to feed 5000+ people, but when they gave all that they had to Jesus (GOD), he made it ENOUGH to meet their needs.  I am absolutely right in saying….that….ON MY OWN…. I don’t have enough…time, money, energy, faith, strength, willpower….whatever…..to do ANYTHING; certainly not continue day after day on this journey, but by the grace of God, I can do all things!!  The past 4-5 months have been very difficult….physically and emotionally…..but God has given me what I need to get through each day.  The road ahead may be even more difficult as I journey with my companion who is dealing with some serious health issues…..but GOD will give me more than enough of whatever I need IF….I give him all I have and trust that He will sustain me.  He will give you more than enough of whatever you need on your personal journey as well….IF….you give HIM all you have and have the faith that HE will help you. 

Feeding 5000+ people with five small barley loaves and two fish seemed impossible….but God helped the disciples accomplish the task.  Losing 20, or 50, or 100+ pounds might seem impossible too….but God will help you do it.  Going 10 days or two months without a cigarette/drink might seem too difficult for you….but if you give it to God, HE WILL HELP YOU.  Getting through a round of chemo…..going through surgery…..childbirth…..terminal illness……depression…..unemployment….(you name your battle)…..might seem like a task that you cannot handle because you “ JUST DON’T HAVE ENOUGH”…..but, guess what, my friends…… WE DO HAVE ENOUGH…..with God on our side!  We can do it.  WE can…and we will….get through whatever it is we need to get through.  We will find a way to make things work. We will lose the weight. We will reach our goals.  We CAN…and we WILL change our lives!  Just don’t give up!