Portion control: Jesus is more than enough
I recently shared these feelings with a friend. It is a sentiment I express often. Life includes small goodbyes; when relationships end due to relocation or circumstance. Life includes painful goodbyes; when we are forced to say goodbye due to death or divorce. And, as our community has recently experienced, life includes tragic and excruciating goodbyes; when evil abruptly rips loved ones from us with violent depravity.
But it is not just the goodbyes I hate. It is the limits. Life includes circumstances and situations that fall short of our hopes and dreams with painful regularity. Life includes limits. I seem to have a particularly hard time acknowledging this fact and allowing it to shape how I set expectations. This is partially due to the fact that I am a dreamer, a visionary, always seeing what COULD be. This positive trait is coupled with the negative trait of being a raging perfectionist (every bit as self-destructive as a “raging alcoholic.”) These traits fuel high expectations that end up dashed by real life. Limited life. A life of goodbyes and let downs and disappointments.
I should not be caught offguard by these disappointments. After all, Jesus says of His followers in John 17:14-15, 17, “they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” This world is not our home. Heaven is. Earth is limited. Heaven is unlimited. Be careful what you wish for.
In Psalm 73:25-26, the Psalmist empathizes with my plight, but also corrects my focus. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
The day after I shared my song of lament with my friend, the Lord led me to listen to Kari Jobe’s song, “Healer.” In that song, she sings, “I believe, You’re my portion. I believe, You’re more than enough for me. Jesus You’re all I need.” As I sang these words, I realized that my disappointment was the result of “portion distortion.” I had been focusing on the portion that life on earth had served me and ignoring the portion that Jesus had served me: a portion without goodbyes, without limits, endlessly satisfying, more than enough for me.
Sheila Wilimitis is the Director of Discipleship and Outreach at the Delphi United Methodist Church.