I’m facing a lot of transition. I’m also facing a lot of pain. Change and pain are two things I’ve always spent a great deal of energy trying to avoid. And every time I face some kind of big change, every time God asks something of me that’s unappealing, I notice this question that slinks around inside me, challenging me to run from his voice: “Is God going to be enough?” The question crawls under my skin, into my heart, moves through my mind. I hear it like a voice in the garden; “Did God really say…?” It’s a snaky question because it gets in where we can’t reach. It climbs into places of our past, present and future, demanding that God justify his whereabouts at different points in our lives. It loosens the bolts of faith and certainty and we’re not always sure how to put our belief back together.
But the question only does damage when we’re afraid of it. Maybe it’s a fair question—a good one, even. Is God going to be enough? If we can’t look this question in the face, if we can’t revisit this question, if we’re too afraid that the act of thinking the question will pull the drain out of our belief, then our faith is no faith at all.
It was my sister in law, Megan who pointed out the connection between our backyard pool and deep trust. When Ellia was learning to swim, she wasn’t confident about jumping in the water. Brett had to stand in the shallow end and promise a total of 5 times that he would catch her if only she’d take the leap. When she finally and cautiously jumped, she was ecstatic about the thrill of the jump, the feel of the water, and the kept-promise of her dad’s arms.
After every safe water landing, she’d still ask the question the next time she stood at the pool’s edge: “Will you catch me, Daddy?” It’s an honest question, a question Brett never tires of.
It’s also my question when I stand at the edge of obedience, paralyzed and anxious. Every time, I’m afraid of the risk, I ask God the question pulsing through me: “Will you catch me?”
The question takes different forms throughout my journey. But anytime I stand on any ledge, facing what could be, fearing what I’ll lose, the question resurfaces. No matter how many times it’s been answered, I at least need a moment where I have the freedom to re-ask.
Is God enough? If I walk away from this relationship, if I stop self-medicating with an excessive desire to control, if I quit trying to get love through people-pleasing—will God be enough? If I turn from my image obsession, if I stop doing ministry for approval, will God reach out and hold me? Will God grab me as I hit the water? Or, if I lay down my self-protective tendencies, will I drown?
The question is frightening. But, if we don’t squarely face the question of God’s ability to take care of us, we’ll never be fully capable of letting go of every crutch—the blatantly destructive ones or the ones baptized in Christian language.
The question can turn us into cynics—cynics who never jump. Cynics who fear the water or mock the idea that we’d ever be happy taking the leap. But the question can also set us free—free in a way we’ve never dared to be. Free to take some kind of an abnormal dive into the unknown world of abundant life. If we can’t face the question of whether or not God is enough, we may avoid doubt, but we’ll also avoid a deeper trust.
If we close the eyes of our soul to the question that rises in difficulty, how on earth can we truly see the arms that wait to catch us?
Today Ellia got a 15-foot running start before diving into the deep end of the pool. She’s figured out she can jump. But there are still those moments when she wants to know we’ll catch her. It’s not about how much we trust—it’s about the one who’s promised to catch us. And when we’re on the ledge, it’s good to know this God never tires of the question. So, we might as well let ourselves ask it.