What does it actually look like to say, “Jesus is enough for me” and mean it?
I’ll be the first to speak from experience and say that the concept is very nice, but feels hollow when you aren’t sure how your next car insurance bill is going to be covered by your meager paycheck. It’s hard to think “Jesus is all I need” when really I feel like I need a few thousand dollars to drop from the sky to cover my credit card debt from my last car breakdown.
It’s difficult to say that you’re content with Jesus alone when there are very real and emotionally trying situations in your life. How do you say Jesus is enough if a loved one is really sick? How do you say that your entire life can be content with just Jesus if you’re single and you don’t want to be? If you are struggling with a “thorn in your side” of a mental or physical illness? What about a difficult home life? Or you feel dreadfully alone in this season?
The Old Testament is filled with verses proclaiming God is our portion and our inheritance. (Psalm 142:5; Psalm 73:26; Joshua 13:33)
The New Testament declares that He gives us everything we need. (Philippians 4:19; Romans 8:32; 2 Peter 1:3)
But, what does that mean?
What does that mean when the bills are piling up? What does that mean when I’m exhausted and anxious or depressed? What does that mean when I’m lonely or scared? What does that mean when I don’t see a way my needs can be met or a way out of my situation?
What does it actually mean to have Jesus be your provision?
I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers. I definitely wouldn’t say I live this out perfectly. In fact, the reason this post has come to be is because this morning I sat down in a coffee shop I love, whipped out my journal, and before thanking God or acknowledging Him in any sort of way I wrote “Hi Jesus, I desperately need money.” I’m a big believer in telling Jesus what is on our heart, asking him for our needs and desires and not sugar-coating it. And I think when we come to him without charades or false pretenses, it cuts to the chase a lot quicker. And boy did Jesus cut to the chase today. Before I could add another thought or word, he responded:
“No, you need me.”
Well… ok then.
I didn’t feel defensive. I didn’t even give one of my signature eye rolls. I felt a little dumbfounded because it’s a very simple answer but it is true. If the goal of my life is to have a solid bank account, wear the coolest clothes and drive a car that isn’t hideous (sorry Rudy) then yeah, I do need money. But if the objective I’m pursuing is to glorify God in every situation, no matter what, then I need Jesus a lot more than I need money.
It reminded me of a night last week when Jesus beckoned me to hang out on the beach with him. It was peaceful and beautiful beyond words. After a stressful week, it felt like a hot cup off coffee for my soul to sit with him without any motives – energizing and soothing all in one. My wonderful friend Eleanor texted me right after asking how I was. And as I reflected on my own state, I told her that I was good, because I got to be with Jesus. None of my circumstances had changed that had been causing me stress. But when I acknowledged the purpose of my life – to love and commune with my Creator – everything else had a lot less gravity.
At the end of the day I just want to love Jesus. If that means I write or I work, I’m alone or I’m with friends, I’m single or married – it doesn’t really matter because I am most content, most who I am created to be and most joyful & peaceful when I’m running to Jesus and spending time with Him. So if that’s what I’m doing, then the rest is OK.
I honestly think if Jesus would give me a random crazy amount of money things would be SO much easier. But then, has the point ever been to make life easy? When I think about it, so far he has never not given me enough. I’ve never not made rent. I’ve never not been able to buy any groceries. He has always provided just enough. My bank account may be terrifyingly low, but I have just barely made it every time. And when I need him to provide, when it isn’t super easy, I listen so much better. I wait on him. I expect him to show up and move because it’s beyond me. And that is actually a gift because it fuels my faith in other areas too and compels me to walk with him closely.
If the goal of my life is to have increased faith in Jesus, to walk as closely to him as possible, and to point to him no matter what hardships or joys – then he is right. I don’t need money, I need Jesus. The rest is OK.