By Kathy Johnston
Have you seen the movie The Greatest Showman? Such a great movie! I have to confess I’ve watched it more than once!
I was listening to the soundtrack a few days ago and one of the songs struck a chord with me... Never Enough. I was fascinated by how it so conflicted with the last blog I wrote, I AM…ENOUGH. I stopped to contemplate the lyrics:
I’m trying to hold my breath
Let it stay this way
Can’t let this moment end
You set off a dream with me
Getting louder now
Can you hear it echoing?
Take my hand
Will you share this with me?
‘Cause darling without you
All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough
Never be enough
Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it’ll
Never be enough
Never be enough
The words are screaming “I NEED you desperately!”
There’s no doubt that God intends for us to enjoy relationship with others…especially in marriage. But reality is, there is NO person or thing that can fill the God shaped hole that creates this kind of need. It’s a need He created in us that only He can fill. And when we desperately look for this in another person, we will be disappointed. We end up putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on that person or relationship because we look to them to fulfill us in a way that only God himself can.
I cringe when someone says “he completes me” or “he’s my soulmate”. Because the hard truth is that no person, career or relationship can ever complete us except for the person of Jesus Christ. Only He will ever be enough to fill that God–created void in the heart of every human. He created us to long for Him. And as long as we pursue wholeness, happiness and satisfaction in anyone else but Christ, we will always feel like it’s “never enough”. We can pursue and chase our dreams, new relationships, jobs or hobbies, but in the end we will end up empty, exhausted, confused and disappointed. Every time. Believe me, I’ve done it myself!
As I thought about this, it reminded me of the children of Israel during the end of Samuel’s role as judge (1 Samuel 8). The people were dissatisfied. God wasn’t enough for them. They wanted something more– a tangible and physical king, someone they thought would be more to their liking. They wanted to have a say on who and how they would be ruled.
“Give us a king to judge us!” they cried. So God tells Samuel to give them what they want: “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.” (1 Samuel 8:7)
They rejected the very one who had loved and chosen them out of all the other nations in the world. He had provided and cared for them. He was the perfect King… But they refused Him, just as Adam and Eve did in the garden and just as we still do today when we refuse His rule over us.
Like the Israelites, we think we know better than God. If we just had a little more money, a better job or another spouse, then we would be complete. We choose to be our own kings. And we end up paying a great price just like the Israelites did. Instead of bringing life and satisfaction, it brings an emptiness and a never ending need for more. And we continually come up lacking, and many end up medicating the emptiness with drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuousness or mindless entertainment, and it’s never enough. We want to be ruler of our own little kingdoms, and we end up rejecting God just as the Israelites did. (Samuel 8:19)
But there’s good news! There is a good and perfect King who is always enough, even when things around us look confusing, disappointing or lacking. We have a kind and trustworthy King in the person of Jesus Christ. And He is waiting with open arms for us to turn back to Him. He is the only one who can provide what our hearts are longing for, the satisfaction that we desperately seek. (Isa. 55:1-7)
God’s Word is full of beautiful promises of satisfaction for those of us who recognize the world around us is “never enough” and that He is the only One who can fill that aching emptiness:
- Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (1)
- For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (2)
- The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever! (3)
- In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (4)
So what does ones life look like when we believe that Christ is enough?
We have a peace that passes understanding. (Phil. 4:7) We can rest in His provision for all our needs according to His riches in glory. (Phil. 4:19). We have a joy that cannot be quenched by any person, situation or circumstance. (1 Peter 1:8) And even more importantly, God is glorified! (Phil 1:12-6). As others see us resting in His enough-ness, especially in those dark times, God is glorified because we are satisfied in Him. He is a never-ending supply of living water.
- “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
- In Christ we have an amazing fountain of satisfaction waiting for us! “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10)
I have a friend who has been through so much heartache in the last number of years. At times I wonder how much more she can possibly bear. I’ve sat and wept with her, prayed with her and wondered how God would provide. But he always does, (not always in the way she had thought!). And in the midst of her pain…there’s still joy because she is drawing from the wellspring of life, Jesus Christ. And it’s not fake…it’s real. He really is enough, and He is glorified through her because she is most satisfied in Him…even through pain.
As I watch her walk through these dark places in her life, it’s a vivid reminder that there is only one true source of satisfaction. If we grasp desperately from other people or things to fill us, as the character in The Greatest Showman singing “Never Enough”, we will always find ourselves lacking, even when we get what we thought we needed. But if we learn to look more and more to Jesus as our source of satisfaction, our Living Water, we will begin singing a new song… Always Enough.