Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When Is Enough Really Enough?

Is enough ever really enough?

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

I’ve used these four steps—Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Intercession (www.MomsInPrayer.org)--for 20 years to guide my prayers.

So when I got to my prayer of Confession the other day, I asked God to please shed some light on my darkness. At first, the usual came up…be nicer, kinder, gentler to my husband, watch my mouth, call on God instead of using food to fill any emptiness. But I felt a little restless. There was something else I needed to pay attention to.

“Lord, what else? There must be something more, something different, something deeper?” I pressed in and listened for that still small voice.
The words, “It’s never enough,” nudged my thoughts. I stayed quiet a little longer. “What’s never enough?”

“Nothing is ever enough.”

“Now wait a minute,” I thought. “I’m thankful for everything I have. I believe every good gift comes from You. I’m a grateful person.”

But I knew I had to consider this idea. After all, I had straight out asked God to show me something other than my usual sin. And He did. So I’ve stayed with this idea of “it” never being enough. And as I’ve made way for it, the conviction has come in. Here are some examples of “It’s never enough” that came to mind:
  • As soon as I’ve uttered a prayer request, there’s another one right behind. I rarely give much time to being truly mindful and thankful for the ways God has answered very specific prayers. Oh, if it’s a real biggie, well then yes, I devote some of my prayer time to Thanksgiving. But I don’t take stock of the little things, the quieter ways God has responded to my endless needs.
  • And that’s another way “It’s never enough.” Really, my needs are endless. As one need is satisfied, another crops up…or I need more. Take love for instance. I struggle with feeling unloved. I am loved by so many. I have a good and faithful husband of 27 years who loves me with all my quirks. My children love me. And I am surrounded by a nurturing supportive bunch of sisters, in-laws, nieces, nephews, incredible friends. Yet, it’s not enough…truth be told, I want more!
Recently I was visiting with a friend. I was updating her on my book project, co-writing a memoir of a man who has an amazing story of hope and triumph in the face of one obstacle after the other.

Believe it or not, I said, a little wistfully, “I wish I could make a living writing other people’s stories…”
She looked at me, a little incredulously, “But, that’s just what you’re doing!”

She was so right. Here I was already doing the thing I had dreamed of. God had given me the desire of my heart…first uttered in a journal over 30 years ago. And I didn’t even recognize it!

Here’s the bad news, “it” is never enough. Because “it” is the things of this world and “it” is not meant to satisfy.

The Good News? He is enough, always and forever.

How about you? Is enough, enough for you? Have you taken stock of your answered prayers and blessings? Have you tried to satisfy the places only God can fill with the things of this world?


  1. i love this. I struggle daily to realize that His grace is enough! it's that human-ness that makes me always want more and more. Thank you for being transparent and helping me to say thanks more often!

  2. I like your prayer method. Mine is similar but perhaps not as orderly. I like the idea of taking time to reflect upon answered prayers. I have been blessed by many of those. Great post with "more than enough" food for thought.

  3. Thanks Elise for this post. I am finding myself in a year of shedding all that is "too much". Too much furniture, too many clothes, too much STUFF. This includes not just physical possessions, but anxiety, greed, covetousness, fear, insecurity. As always, the physical rearranging comes after a spiritual awakening. I have all I need right here, right now.

  4. Lee,
    That was a great story.

    Love, Bri.

  5. Great post! I have to say I am glad that I get the feeling that it is never enough. We were not made for this world. We were made for Heaven :) I know what my never enough feeling is, it is a feeling of not being content and I never want to feel totally content on this planet. I want to be home in Heaven where I belong.


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