Am I Enough?
Philippians 4:12 (NIV)
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
We are without the familiar rhythms of "doing" our faith - worshiping in the chapel, breaking bread in fellowship, serving on committees, singing in the choir. It is a lean season, one of scarcity, when we can't hug and clutch hands in hard moments or lift a glass in celebration. We are living "in want" in Paul's words. We are not physically hungry, but we're emotionally, psychologically ravenous for the restoration of the way of life we formerly knew.
In this stark moment, Christ asks, "Am I enough?" Without all the beloved church "things" we are privileged to take part in as believers, have we cultivated enough of Him to lean on? When we've traded church pews for the front seat of the car or for the comfy chair in the den to worship online - do we summon gratitude or lament our losses? Can we be content in all things as Paul advises - despite the shipwreck, imprisonment, and poverty he experienced - and cherish our connection to Christ to help us see beyond our present trouble?
When we travel to the starlit stable this Christmas, might we bring our anxieties and worries, our disappointments and hurts, and lay them at the feet of the Christ child? May that demonstrate our full trust in this Christ we say we follow, as we relinquish fretting and anger and blaming and instead, give thanks to God who sent the Savior who promises to provide for every need.
Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.