Enough Is Enough

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Over the past few weeks I find the thought ‘God, when is enough, enough?’ running through my head over and over again. Life could be a whole lot worse but there have been these events over the past few weeks that keep knocking us down. Here are just a few…

  • My son has a huge plantar wart on the bottom of his foot that cannot be removed unless we cut it out. We took him to the doctors to give that a try but they didn’t him anything for the pain so he was in tears as they literally tore at his foot. Now every night when we try we can’t get within 10 feet with the knife and the wailing and tears begin.
  • My youngest son can’t sleep through the night when my middle son is sleeping in the same room. My middle son snores and there is no other place in our 850 square foot home to put him except in the master bedroom. Makes for many sleepless nights for my wife and I resulting in crabby mornings.
  • My wife and I were finally living within our financial plan. We thought we had it all worked out until we woke up to a cold house this past Sunday morning.  Yes, the furnace broke and we are back down to making large payments on our line of credit.
  • My daughter had strep throat for the past week and we have her on penicillin for it. It’s helping, but I got a call from my wife last night, since I am in Grand Rapids, and she tells me that my daughter is covered in red dots - she is allergic to the penicillin.

And the list goes on. Yes, things could be worse off. I get that. But this is our reality right now and the thought of ‘God, when is enough, enough?' runs through my mind often these last few week.

Has that thought ever run through your mind when it comes to youth ministry? I know it has for me when:

  • You have a group of kids that show up at school drunk and they get expelled.
  • You have a young lady in your group that is going out with the members of the local gang.
  • A teen comes to you and said she is pregnant and wants an abortion or a young man tells you that he just got a women pregnant.
  • A mother tells you, just before you walk into church on a Sunday morning, that her daughter tried to commit suicide.
  • Parents on the brink of divorce.
  • A teen is killed in a highway accident and you have to tell the parents; another dies through a rare illness and you have to watch a mother say goodbye.
  • 15 members of your youth group fall through the floor at a concert and you are not sure if they are dead or alive.

These are just a few things that have happening during my time as a youth pastor. Any of them sound familiar? I am sure you can come up with your own list and the thought ‘God, when is enough, enough?’ comes to mind.

This past week I was reading through the book of Matthew and came across this very familiar verse. Sometime I have it where these familiar verses just hit me over the head as a wake-up call. Here’s the verse: Matthew 6:28-34. "Don’t worry." WOW.  In my reoccurring thought of ‘God, when is enough, enough?’, whether that be at home or in my ministry related events, there is this blatant underlining tone of worry.  Jesus reassures that we need not worry about things but trust in God. Trust God! I know it’s not profound, it's not new but for me, when reading Matthew it was!

Trust God, don’t worry! May that ring new for you today as it did for me this morning!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Marcel. 

Certainly, it's not easy to move from the frustration of "When is enough, enough?!?!" to the peace of God. I've found that these same verses (incl. 2:26-27) have provided me with peace in times of struggle, worry, and frustration. 

Yet while this may not have been the intention of your blog post, I wonder how best to communicate that sense of peace to our youth, who are at least as worried as any generation before them yet who are not (in my experience) as likely to appreciate someone bandaging a hurt with Bible verses...