A Drum Beat

the world is vibrating with a message.

a message that penetrates the toughest skin.

it infects us all.

your very heart beats with the message.

it has been the cause of too many tears. too many headaches. too many worried sleeps. too many people starving themselves or hurting themselves or hating themselves. too many heartaches. too many inward battles and depression and bitter cries. too many insecurities. way too many insecurities.

the message is simple.

you aren't good enough.

your face isn't pretty enough. your car isn't new enough. your house isn't big enough. your education isn't good enough. your dreams aren't big enough. your body isn't thin enough. your stomach isn't muscular enough. your clothes aren't cool enough. your personality isn't exciting enough. your social
life isn't busy enough. your job doesn't pay enough. your daily life isn't inspiring enough. your character isn't perfect enough. you don't look young enough. you don't act old enough.

you aren't good enough.

let's go back a few years. or maybe more than a few for some.

you take your first few breaths and you are immediately rated. and on a large scale at that.

"why, he is the smallest, most beautiful baby in the world!!"

welcome to a planet where small and beautiful is a good thing. and you are the smallest and most beautiful. in the world.

until ninth grade when you are trying out for highschool varsity basketball. where they want you to be big and tall. and could care less if you're beautiful.

you see, keeping up with being "good enough" is a tricky thing. as you grow, what's expected of you changes.

when you learn to walk, it's a good thing. when you walk into the street, it's a bad thing. when you start to talk, it's a good thing. when you say, "NO MOMMY!" it's a bad thing. when you get good grades in school, it's a good thing. until the other kids don't like you for it and bully you... then it's a bad thing. when you tell your best friend a secret, it's a good thing (to them). when they go and tell someone else, it's a bad thing (for you). when you are excellent at something, it's a good
thing. when you talk about yourself being excellent at something, it's a bad thing. when you have energy, it's a good thing. until you are at a fancy dinner, then it's a bad thing.

there's also the issue of balance.

if you wear too much make-up, you're trying to attract attention. if you don't wear any make-up, you don't care about yourself. if you wear a skirt that's too short, you're trying to be sexy. if you wear a skirt that's too long, you're a hypocrite. if you eat a lot, you're fat. if you don't eat
a lot, you're annorexic. if you're outgoing and friendly, you're a flirt. if you are reserved, then you have an attitude. if you talk a lot, then you're self-centered. if you don't talk a lot, then you are probably judgemental. if you try to do what's right, you're a goody two shoes. if you don't try to do what's right, then you're probably a bad word and other parents keep their children away from you. if you struggle with your emotions, then you are a drama queen. if you don't, then
you're heartless and cold.

and don't forget to throw in expectations and the speed of life.

you're in highschool so you're immediately asked about your college choices. you're in college so you're immediately asked about potential girlfriends/boyfriends. you get a girlfriend/boyfriend so you're immediately asked about when you're getting engaged. you're engaged so you're immediately
asked about wedding dates. you're married so you're immediately asked about having children. you have children, so you're asked about your work. you have a good job
so you're asked about your children's education. you get old, so you're asked about your grandchildren. you get too old, so you stop getting asked anything.

life is all about what's next. and if you're doing it good enough, fast enough, balanced enough. you've felt the pressure almost since you were the smallest, most beautiful baby in the world.

feeling dizzy yet?

while I was working at a BBQ restaurant a few summers back, I had a complete stranger ask me about my education. he was maybe in his fifties. I had just graduated high school a few weeks ago.

"so where are you going to college, young lady?"

"I... um... I'm not really sure yet. there are a lot of different things I want to do, but my mom just had a baby, so I think I'm going to take a year at home and help..."

"just make sure you DO something about that college education! you don't want to be a burden to your parents."

really, sir? really? were you listening at all, or were you listening to the constant beat of life? the drumming statement in your own mind... "you'll never be good enough."

his words haunted me nonetheless. because I can hear the beating in my head too. the insecurity arising. the I'm-out-of-control questions pounding at the door to my heart.

life begins to feel like a juggling act. we feel secure about where we are, but oh! not with who we are.

and there is a difference.

some days, I'm just so happy to be here, married to Christian, running my own house, making my own food. but then it hits me. "I sounded like a little old married lady the other day talking with
so-and-so. they seemed normal and exciting and busy. but did I? oh gosh, am I getting boring!? oh no... EVEN MY CLOTHES WERE BORING THAT DAY! I wonder if people think
I'm boring. I wonder what they think I do all day... do they think I'm lazy? what do they think of me?!"

other days, I'm happy with who I am, but not where I am. "I am a wife. I am married to my best friend. what more could I want?" *Pandora ad comes on about a local college* "what am I doing here!?!?!? being a wife isn't enough!!!!! I need a career too! I need fulfillment in my life! who cares about washing dishes or folding another load of laundry!!! there are way more important things to be doing! show me what I'm supposed to be doing, Lord!"

and other days, I'm happy about who I am and where I am, but I feel unbalanced deep within myself. "I don't text people often enough. I wonder if they're mad at me for it. I wonder if they even like me anymore? I wonder what they say about me. I wonder what people say about me in general. how do I come across? I wonder if I sounded rude when I said that the other day. I was only kidding. they knew I was kidding right? do I come across as too much of a jokester? but then I post way too many serious things... maybe people think I'm too serious or dramatic. maybe they get tired of my pictures or think I'm being self-centered. I wonder if they think that? I wonder if they can see
all my struggles? if they could see what those struggles are would they still like me? if they could see how I've messed up, would they still give two pennies about anything I say? am I good enough? how can I ever be good enough?"

and the world beats on with it's message. it beats on your heart, mind, and soul. from without. from within. because most doors are two-ways like that.

will I ever be good enough? for others? for myself? for God?

I guess if we are asking ourselves what "good enough" is, we should be asking ourselves what "good" is.

and maybe we should ask the God who created the word and the meaning behind the word.

it's simple really. have you kept all His commandments perfectly?

no. no you haven't. you have lied. you have stolen. you have disobeyed. you have wanted what someone else has. and I'm sure you have broken more of God's commands. I know I have.

so actually, you really aren't good enough. because God is holy. and accepts nothing less than perfect.

in fact, you and me? we deserve Hell and eternal separation from God. complete separation from the source of goodness. for as long as you can imagine. and then that length of time again. and again. and again. forever. eternity.

it makes my concern over face acne and how it affects my beauty in other people's eyes seem a bit... lame. and dismally pathetic. and pointless? yeah. pointless.

we aren't good enough.

but that's actually okay. because we don't have to be. because someone else is.

when Christ took our place on the cross, He became our "good enough". when His flesh was hammered and nailed into a piece of tree, His perfect blood was our "good  enough". when His dying words were uttered "it is finished!", they became our "good enough". when he bore God's wrath for our "not good enough", He became our "good enough".

why is it that we who believe and have been made righteous in God's eyes through Jesus Christ, still sit around trying to be good enough?

isn't He good enough? who are we trying to impress? what are we focusing on more? ourselves and our "not good enoughs"? or Christ and His "good enough"?

God made the grass. He made the ocean. He made the whole freaking world, and the whole freaking sky. and by made, I mean He spoke and there it was. He said a word and the sun and the moon were born from nothing. not made from some particle of dust evolving over millions and billions and trillions of years. they were born instantly. born of the very voice of God. He said a word, and all the stars hung themselves throughout the night. He said a word, and there were living land creatures. He said another word, and there were living plants.

He took some dust, and formed man from it and breathed His own breath into him "and
the man became a living creature." (Genesis 2:7)

He breathed into dust and we were living. we are dust. but we are dust made living from God's own breath.

isn't that good enough?

the very same God who made everything around you with His words is still speaking. He's telling a story right now. and you are exactly at the part of the story He is telling you into. and He's not making you walk that story alone. He's holding your hand through it, fighting the battles alongside you, catching your tears as they fall, pulling you closer in the scary parts, loving you desperately in the desperate parts, using each sentence He tells and you walk through for His glory. He has
spoiled the ending. He has promised you a life of eternal goodness with Him at the end of it all.

isn't that good enough? isn't right where you are in His story good enough? isn't who you are in His story good enough?

instead of worrying or complaining or trying to push ahead to the next part, shouldn't we just stop and give thanks for right. now. ?

"lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower..."(Psalm 61)

when we are not balanced, He is the rock that is higher than our insecurities. He is the refuge from our fears. He is the strong tower against our own silliness.

we spend too much time being insecure, when we have security.

we get caught up in the rythem of trying to be the best, look the best, have the best.

even as Christians, we get caught up in looking like we have it all together. many a Sunday, I have tried to quickly "pull myself together". sometimes I've been spitting out angry, bitter words in the car, only to rush into service and look the part of a happy worshipper.

most of us honestly want to have it all together and not just have to act like we do. when we let ourselves down though, we get caught up in bashing ourselves and telling ourselves what? that we're not good enough. we should be telling ourselves that Christ is good enough. we should be telling others how good HE is and how much WE still have to learn.

because no one has it altogether. everyone has been sinking at times. and I'm pretty sure we've all been to that point where we feel unworthy to even speak to God. a friend I hadn't spoken to in a while was messaging me back and forth a few weeks ago and telling me about her life. "I don't even feel like God can forgive me," she said. "I know all the 'Christian' answers, but still, I don't feel worthy of God's forgiveness."

it broke my heart because I have been there too. I have been on my knees crying and literally telling God that I'm not sorry, but that I want His forgiveness and I certainly don't want Him to give up on me. I opened up and told her about a time in my life in particular when I felt beyond God's grace. and you know what? it was hard for me to tell her. because what if it changes her opinion of me?

but God. He knows we aren't perfect. He sees our struggle. He knows our hearts. He knows we're going to walk away from prayer and sin two seconds later.

and still He loves us. and no matter what we feel, He really does forgive us. because Christ. Christ covers us. Christ is good enough. we don't have to be.

as Christians, we get discontent over where we are. we get caught up in thinking that the only way to serve God is through missions in far away places or in loading our lives with ministry or in having some outstanding testimony where we can say "look where we were before Christ & look where we are now!"

but right now, right here is where you are supposed to be. right now is your testimony. right now is your ministry. your ministry can be helping the homeless, or it can be speaking kindly to your family or taking a moment to pray for someone you barely know. it really can be doing dishes and folding laundry. it really can be being a super young wife with no idea what's going on. it really can be being a young person in college who still isn't sure where they will go after their studies are complete. if you are a mom, then be the mom Christ is calling you to be. right now. if you are a child, then be the child Christ is calling you to be. right now. if you are a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, then be that to your fullest. exalt Christ to the fullest. through your attitude. through your joy. through your thanks. through your heart.

you don't have to be great to be a servant. you have to have a servant's heart.

and as Christians, we still will struggle with personal insecurites. knowing that Christ is good enough, doesn't mean I suddenly am happy about the shape of my chin or my skills at friend making. but as Christians, we need to work on setting those insecurities aside, and focusing on others instead.

insecurities are selfish. focusing on others is selfless.

it will take a lifetime of practicing, but keep laying those insecurities at Christ's feet, and set Him and others first in your mind. you'll find there is less and less time to be insecure.

it will take a lifetime of not feeling good enough. and you know what?

on our own, we are not good enough.

but He?

He is good enough.

and in Christ?

you are more than good enough. you are a child of the King.