Jesus is enough
Recently, I was in a conversation with a friend who was really struggling to live a virtuous life. She was sharing with me just how it’s so easy to desire the things of the world and how hard it is sometimes to follow Jesus.
My friend is a devout follower of Jesus, close to the sacraments, has an amazing community surrounding her, and yet, the way of the world is just so convincing sometimes. We were talking about her intense desire for marriage, which, at the tender age of early thirties, an unmarried Catholic woman feels like something went wrong. We were commiserating on the fact that we had both been following Jesus and saying “yes” to Him for years, so why hasn’t this desire been fulfilled in our lives yet?
My parents were high school sweethearts, married at 19, and are about to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Growing up, I had just assumed that’s what my own life would look like. Now, about to turn 32 and not married, there’s a temptation to question God’s plan for my life. Did I do something wrong? Did I not do enough for Jesus to give me these desires? I’ve had to allow the Lord to do a serious work in my heart undoing all the lies that if I perform well enough, if I do all the things I’m supposed to do, then God will reward me with my deepest desires.
It’s almost as if I’ve twisted Psalm 37:4, “Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart,” to mean, “If I love Jesus enough, He’ll give me everything I really, really want.” When in reality, Jesus says consistently throughout the Gospels, “Lay down your life, pick up your cross, and follow me.” Nowhere does He say, “If you do well enough, if you love me enough, if you check enough religious boxes, then I’ll give you whatever you want.”
No. I believe the “desires of your heart” is in actuality Jesus Himself. He is the One who we most desire. Jesus is the One who will fulfill our lives. Jesus is the One who will give us the happiness, joy, peace, and compassion we desperately crave. He is enough. As one of my favorite authors Eric Gilmour said in his book, Jesus is Enough, “Jesus is not a mere bridge to a better place. He is the greatest destination.”
This applies to those waiting on a spouse or vocation, those waiting on children, those waiting on a job, those waiting on a raise, those waiting on healing, those waiting on etc. etc. etc., fill in the blank! In our world, we’ve bought into the lie that letting Jesus love us seems too simple and not enough. That can’t be it. There has to be more? But what if we lived our lives as if we actually believed it? What if we allowed Jesus to show us how His love for us moves mountains, whether the mountains in our lives or the mountain of our heart? What if we allowed the head knowledge of Jesus loving us enter deep into our hearts, that is the “wellspring of life” according to the Psalms (Psalm 4:23)? How would this change the way we lived and viewed ourselves and others?
Friends, I believe the Lord is inviting us into this new space of fully trusting Him with our entire lives. Not so that we “get” anything back from Him, but that we just get Him. Our soul’s true object of desire. Would you pray with me this simple prayer, trusting in His faithfulness and goodness to us?
Lord, I believe you love me and I can trust You. Enlarge my heart to receive more of You. Amen.