When God Isn’t Enough
Before you yell, Blasphemer!…be sure you first read this Note.
Throughout my life I have known people going through very difficult—often unimaginable—times. Senseless death, incurable illness, crushing betrayal, hopeless depression, shattered dreams, failed plans. The list goes on…as does the grief, brokenness, anger, fear, and loneliness.
And often when I sat with them, stood by their side, and mourned with them, they would lash out. What’s the use of God? Why did He let this happen? Why doesn’t He care? Where was He when I needed Him? AND WHERE IS HE NOW!?!
Don’t assume this comes only from a weak faith. I’ve heard such words from those who study the Word of God and those who preach it…from devout Christians who follow God and those who only casually mention He exists. And when tragedy occurs, they discover in that moment…God alone isn’t enough.
In dark times, people need us to be with them…
So why do people find themselves believing the Creator of the Universe isn’t enough for them? After a lot of thought and study over the years, I’ve reached two conclusions. First, for these people in their darkest moments, God truly isn’t enough for them. They need more. (Stay with me.)
Second, God is not enough for them because He often chooses not to be. As my buddy Shane Hale would say…read that again. But you might think, Why would God not be there for them. Ah, I didn’t say He isn’t there. I said by His choice, He’s not enough.
All of us have known or will experience dark times. And in those moments we need someone who will sit with us, stand with us, be with us, perhaps even mourn with us. We don’t need advice or opinions. We don’t need anyone teaching us. What we need is their presence and to know they care.
…because they need us to share God’s love.
More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus said, I command you to love one another just as I have loved you. If you love me, you will do this and everyone will know that you follow me. 1 John would later add, This has been the message from the beginning. 2
But what does He mean by “love one another”? Well, He gave us a clue…as I have loved you. When Jesus came upon people who were hurting, He loved them. He set aside personal wants and needs to go to them, sit with them, eat with them…be with them. And through Him they experienced deep compassion and a love that is patient, kind, does not envy nor boast, is not proud, rude, self-serving, or easily angered. 3
You see, the feeling that God isn’t enough is not so much about what God does not do as what He commands you and I to do. He chooses to not be enough because He wants us to go and be involved. He wants us to be the good Samaritan. And He wants others to discover His love in us…a love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. 4
Are you up for the challenge? Maybe the better question is…are you willing to be?
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Read John 13:34-35;15:12-14. (2) Read 1 John 3:11. (3) Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-5. (4) Read 1 Corinthians 13:7.
Pictures: Banner: The Sick and Dying, photo by Evan Belford, from the article “All Blacks Pay Special visit to Sick Friend” by Tommy Livingstone (11-9-2015), stuff.co.nz. (1) Depression, photo by DigitalSkillet, Getty Images. (2) Feeding The Homeless, from an article on Portland Volunteers, oregonlive.com. (3) In Prison, Sanctuary Campaign Women’s Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, sanctuarycampaignokc.org.