When You Feel You're Not Enough
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
As soon as my first-grade teacher held up that initial spelling flashcard, I knew I was in trouble.
Just 6 years old, I’d skipped off to school with a new box of crayons, a Swiss polka-dotted dress, and fresh hope that I would be smart. But first grade only confirmed my greatest fear: I was “not enough.”
We lined up our miniature wooden chairs in a row like a choo-choo train. The teacher held up a spelling flashcard for us to identify the word. If we missed the word, we had to go to the caboose. I spent most of the first grade in the caboose. I just couldn’t spell. For some reason, I especially had trouble with the word the.
I’ll help her, my teacher must have thought. She made me a nametag that read t-h-e, and I had to wear it for two weeks. Students came up to me and asked,
“Why are you wearing that tag?”
“Is your name ‘The’?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
Eventually, I learned how to spell the, but that’s not all I learned. I learned I wasn’t as smart as everybody else, and once again, not enough. Although I ended up doing well in school, many times I’ve still felt like that little girl in the caboose.
Moses was also someone who felt he wasn’t good enough. When God spoke through a burning bush and called Moses to lead His people out of Egyptian bondage, he had a big case of the “not-good-enoughs.”
That’s when he had a one-sided argument with God. Moses told God he was the wrong man for the job. He wasn’t brave enough, strong enough, smart enough, eloquent enough, charismatic enough or confident enough.
At one point, Moses asked God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
And God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:13-14, NIV).
Moses was 80 years old when he argued with God. But even the weakest knees in the hands of I AM can become a mighty force to be reckoned with.
I’ll go out on a limb and say that you, too, have likely struggled with feelings of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy. And the underlying statement feeding the sense of worthlessness is “I’m not __________ enough.” You can fill in the blank with a number of qualities. False beliefs such as …
I’m not strong enough.
I’m not experienced enough.
I’m not talented enough.
I’m not brave enough.
I’m not pretty enough.
But here’s what we need to remember: Whatever positive characteristic we feel we are not, God is. Whatever we need, God is. He is the God who fills in our gaps; He is I AM who fills in our blanks.
When we say, “I’m not strong enough,” God says, “I AM.”
When we say, “I’m not smart enough,” God says, “I AM.”
When we say, “I’m not good enough,” God says, “I AM.”
Once we let go of the lies that we’re not enough … and take hold of the truth that we’re more than enough because of Jesus’ presence and power in us … then we’ll be set free from paralyzing insecurity and on our way to experiencing courageous confidence to do everything He calls us to do. We’ll get out of the caboose and sit up front with the Engineer.
Want to know something amazing? One of my greatest weaknesses as a child was spelling words. And now that is what God has called me to do today … write with words. I stand with Paul who lamented about his weakness: “But he [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
That’s what happens when we allow God to fill in our blanks. He turns what we perceive as our greatest weakness into our greatest strength.
What is God calling you to do today? Where do you feel you’re not enough? Oh friend, because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, and His power in you, you are more than enough! Don’t forget it.
Heavenly Father, so many times I feel like I’m just not good enough, smart enough, wise enough … just not enough, period. Help me stop focusing on my self-perceived inadequacies and start focusing on Your all-sufficient supply. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (ESV)
If you struggle with feeling like you're just not enough, then Sharon Jaynes’ new release, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence, is just for you. Pre-order your copy by April 3, 2018, and you’ll receive a FREE digital download of “Your Scars are Beautiful to God,” plus FREE downloads of The 5 Dreams of Every Woman, and How God Longs to Fulfill Them AND the Listening to God Day by Day Devotional. Click here for more details.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Which areas of your life do you tell yourself that you’re not enough? What is God telling you about your true abilities through today’s devotion?
Join the conversation to add a prayer for you or a friend to recognize you’re enough.