Sometimes my 16 passenger van and I clamor down the driveway and I think that I will get out and life will be easy. That 14 daughters will greet me laughingly at the gate and there will the smell of fresh wheat bread baking in the oven and a long run at nap time and clean laundry on the line and 14 bodies pressed close against mine on the couch before bed.
It was once.
Except today life is messy. And there are 14 girls at the gate but they are fighting with each other and one comes with a grouchy birth mother who lives in my guest room and there are burn victims in the yard who need their infected skin scrubbed out and a ten pound three year old abandoned little girl on the couch and my baby has pneumonia and life is busy so cuddling on the couch gets postponed until tomorrow because today I just want to go to sleep and wake up when some of the mess is over.
I park. Turn the keys in the ignition, close my eyes, open my hands and just sit. And He fills up my spirit with just one word, enough.
Jesus bent and carrying my burden. Jesus with nails in His hands and water, living water flowing from His side. And even when I think that I have learned this already, He teaches me AGAIN.
I look around the yard again and He whispers softly, “I died for you.” And His ways are not my ways but I trust them and I am thankful for the mess, ever pulling me back to Him. And peace, oh how it passes understanding.
Some days, the bickering and the burns and the birth mom and the babies abandoned are His will for my life, His gift to bring me closer to Him and today, I will embrace the gift that is Him, enough for me and all my broken places.
These days, only He carries me. And because only He carries me only He can receive the glory, all of my adoration and all of my praise.
* * * *
I scribbled this nearly a year ago. Chicken scratch in the journal that catches my half-asleep thoughts just before bed and my still-sleepy thoughts in the first light of morning.
A year later there are no burns or birth moms or abandoned babies to speak of. But today there is Musoke fighting for his little life on the couch and there is the baby thrashing from her too-hot fever. Today the house is too messy and I yelled at my kids for no reason whatsoever other than I am tired.
And because of a hard season and some scribbled words and deep lessons last April, today is little easier. Today I know it deep in my spirit that the hard seasons don’t minimize Him but in fact magnify His goodness. Here is where I learn to know Him more.
I know that I can find joy here, too. Because God is in the days that go as planned. And God is in the days that don’t.
Today there was breath in the chest of a little boy who I thought may die in the night. Today there were hugs and picked flowers and sweet notes from kiddos who knew mama was tired. There were big sisters who helped little sisters and a biggest sister who organized the house cleaning. There were 130 painted toenails, all colors. There were boxes of cookies sent from friends in the states and medicine and food sent over from friends around the corner. There were hands to help and even more that offered to help, and there were voices lifted in prayer.
And today, there was a Savior who paid my ransom with His blood, and it was enough.
It is always enough. Could I just remember? Could I just remember whose I am? Could I just remember the price He paid to live in me? And if Christ is in me, then can’t I find Him in all of these things too - the measles and the vomit, the flowers and the forgiveness and the toenails? Knowing that in all circumstances He is enough and He is working to draw me closer to Him, I praise Him for the good in the hardest of days.
Jesus, you are enough.
You were enough to atone for this ugly sin that wanted to separate. You are enough to fill in the gaps, fill all my holes, make up my lack. My flesh screams, “I can’t go on, I don’t have enough! Not enough strength, not enough patience, not enough…” And I wouldn’t, but I have You. And in You, I have enough and more than enough, Father of abundance, Giver of endless blessings.
I can pour out because I know you fill up. I drink from a well that never runs dry. You are abundantly available to me, ever drawing me closer. You call me into communion with you and I am filled with your life over flowing even in the driest, hardest of seasons. You exchange my lack for your abundance, Christ in me the only hope of glory. Christ in me is enough. Christ with me is enough. Christ on that cross and risen for me is enough. You are enough, Jesus.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His GLORY, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. From His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace. John 1:14,16