It Would Have Been Enough
How often do we praise God for one thing and acknowledge if that was the only thing He did, it would have been enough to keep praising Him for eternity? Not often enough.
Part of the Passover Seder includes singing "Dayenu", a song over a thousand years old detailing the kindnesses God did for His people during the Exodus. The lyrics are such that after each incredible action God performed is recounted, then “dayenu” is declared, meaning, “It would have been enough.” And then another God-move is remembered, followed by “dayenu” (it would have been enough) and so forth.
In my life, it’s easy to get caught up in what I don’t have. What I can’t do. What I want God to do for me but He hasn’t. When what I should be doing is expressing immense gratitude for what He has done. Many things He’s done for me qualify for “just that is enough” status for recognizing His sovereignty and admitting my need for Him. No ifs, ands, or buts.
In a season of depression and just wanting to be done with everything, with being fed up with my life and with God, recounting things like “God saved me” and “He keeps my heart beating” were not all that helpful. He does those things for everybody. I didn’t feel rescued. I didn’t want my heart to keep beating.
What I could hold on to, however, were the numerous tangible times when He’s rescued me from demons or dark spiritual places when I was dreaming. Nothing like being in “just a dream” only to be physically grabbed and restrained. Yet every time I called out to God in those circumstances, He removed me. Usually immediately. Every. Time. I was in a terrifying place and/or position, and then the next moment I’m safe.
A search of “alien abductions” shows not everyone is so lucky—or rather, blessed. Sometimes I awoke and could see the demon/demons (and sometimes humans astro projecting) in my room, and other times I saw nothing. Yet the dark powers that sought to overpower me, could not hold me against Yahweh’s strength to rescue me and return me to His peace. His actions were enough. He’s enough.
The Flip Side
When I was a teenager, during a conversation with my sister bemoaning the lack of clear direction from God, I told her, “God’s word is a lamp, not a spotlight.” But oh how we wished God would shine a spotlight on what we should do!
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105
Decades later God added to the revelation. I was walking in a park, and God directed me to sit in a particular spot. I did so, wondering what He wanted to show me. After I settled on the picnic bench, I looked up. Directly across the pond from me was a lamppost. It wasn’t on, as there was still plenty of sunlight. I was sitting in the shade of a tree. And God reminded me of my “lamp not a spotlight” comment.
The lamp wasn’t on because it didn’t need to be. The sun’s light was bright and encompassed a large area. During daylight, much more of the park can be seen than just what is lit up by the lampposts surrounding the pond. Even sitting in the shade—a darker area—I could still see well because there was enough surrounding sunlight. When it’s dark out, that’s when a lamp is needed.
In the park, there were many places I could go, many paths I could take. All good. All within the bounds of the Light. And I could see well enough to safely make my own paths. One place where I could step wasn’t necessarily better than another. I could choose. And be “right” either way. The broad possibilities before me (and behind and beside me) were all safe and good and acceptable options. It didn’t matter where I went. Everywhere I considered going would be fine.
When you can no longer clearly see, a lamplight shows you where you can safely step—albeit only a little at a time. It’s much more specific.
The concept reminded me of the analogy of a kid playing in a fenced-in backyard. The parent is fine with the child playing anywhere in the backyard. It’s when the child tries to venture outside the safety of the fenced-in area that more detailed directions are needed and given. Pondering this, I realized that too much sunlight is blinding. Too much light and you can’t see anything.
God is holy. Sacred. He gives us the Light we need. In the amount we need it. He gives us enough.
If we have a decision to make and have inquired after God as to which choice to make, yet have not received clear direction one way or another, it could be that God is leaving the choice up to us. He gave us minds; He expects us to use them. And like any good parent, there are times He gives us freedom to choose our path. When there are particular places He wants us to go, He’ll light up those areas and leave everything else in the dark.
God gives us enough. Enough light. Enough direction. He is enough. And many of His actions—just by themselves—make Him worthy to be praised for eternity. We can’t really praise Him enough, but we can try.
God is always enough
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