I posted last week about being enough, about believing God has made it so.
But since then, I haven’t been able to stand quite straight in this impossibly shallow space between the floor of enough and the ceiling of too much.
Confident enough. But not too prideful.
Humble enough. But not too timid.
Gentle enough. But not too passive.
Passionate enough. But not too impulsive.
Flexible enough. But not a pushover.
Hopeful enough. But not unrealistic.
Busy enough. But not stretched too thin.
If the world doesn’t place the unrealistic expectations upon us, we’ll happily oblige to crawl under them ourselves.
It’s absurd. Really. That’s the only word for it.
But it’s also real.
I need to tell you something. No amount of will-power is going to get us out from the shallow crawl space we’ve created for ourselves. No amount of encouragement or kindness or compassion is going to make this space livable. Go ahead and take down the decor. We’ve got to stop trying to make these prisons feel like home.
And the Savior keeps whispering how He came to set us free. And we keep wondering why the walls keep closing in.
Barely enough. Almost too much. We tuck our knees up to our chins and try to fit into the smallest space. Or we thrash about wildly to declare that we’re over it. But we just end up scraped and bruised and unable to create enough space to be the ones we really know we are.
And do you know what our Savior did? When the sins of ourselves and others backed us up against the wall? When the sting of death descended? When we could never be enough? When we would always be too much?
He wrapped Himself in skin and ducked right into this crawl space with us. He tucked His knees up tight to His chin and eternity crawled into time, immortality dressed in death, omnipotence bowed in surrender.
And then He flung His arms wide upon that cross. And He heaved His chest up to gasp for air. And the Creator of all of this made space for all of us.
He hung His head and surrendered His Spirit. Death danced victorious. Darkness fell. And the ones who loved the darkness rejoiced. Until they heard the sound of the curtain tearing.
And then the enemy knew. That death had won the battle. But that God had won the war.
That curtain in the Temple separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. Those were the two rooms in the building of the Temple. The Most Holy Place was just that–the most holy. Because that’s where God chose to let His presence dwell (Exodus 25:22). Only the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place, and even he could only enter it once a year, to make atonement for the sins of God’s people. But when Jesus died, when the Immortal submitted to death that He might rise again victorious over it, that curtain tore in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51).
I have to wonder if it wasn’t the very hand of the Father that reached down and ripped it apart. Freedom.
From sin. From death. From never being enough. From always being too much.
Because our Father knows what to do with us. Our God already did all that it took to usher us into His presence, to open a way for us to encounter His glory and His grace, to pull us out of hiding and scrape the layers of sin off of our grimy skin. He already flung His arms out on that cross, already heaved His chest up to make room for breath.
So take a deep one.
We don’t have to stay here in these tiny crawl spaces, trying to keep ourselves safe. We don’t have to keep trying to be enough. We don’t have to keep pretending that we’re never too much.
Because God came near.
God stooped right into this crawl space with us. Untuck your chin from your chest and look into the eyes of the Savior who has crawled in beside you. Accept that nail-scarred hand, and let Him usher you out into the open–into the space He’s made, into the freedom of His presence.
He will wash the sin and shame off of our grimy skin. He will bandage the wounds from our years of thrashing. He will wipe the tears we would not weep in those tiny confines of our cooped up lives. He will stretch our atrophied muscles and teach us to stand again–strong and straight.
He will meet us here. And it will be enough. In fact, it will almost be too much.
And we will probably kneel again, maybe even put our faces to the floor, but it won’t be to hide ourselves, it will be to lose ourselves in the wonder of all that He is.
Oh, Lord, make it so.