A young teenager, desperate for attention, yells at his parents again and storms out of their room. He slams the door, stomps to his room, and plants himself in front of his video games. He takes out his rage and frustration in a killing spree, and all the while, something nags at him that he can’t define. Something is telling him it’s not everyone else’s fault. He puts down the controller and places his head in his hands, wracked with guilt. He tells himself that tomorrow he will do better. When will he have had enough?
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
A younger mother, tired and frazzled, finally lays the kids down for their naps. Her Bible sits on her nightstand along with the latest romance novel. She forgoes the Bible for her newest obsession; fantasizing about a different life, a different husband, a different future. She occasionally glances at the Word of God, feeling guilty, and then eventually shoves it in the drawer where she can’t see it. Out of sight, out of mind. But she can’t shake the feeling that the Word is calling to her from the confines of its newest prison. She puts the novel down and tells herself that tomorrow she will do better. When will she have had enough?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
A husband returns home from work only to find the house messy again, the kids running rampant like bats out of hell, and his wife talking on the phone while making dinner. His rage explodes again, and he lashes out verbally at his wife. She cowers as he slams his fist through the wall, and she is grateful that at least this time it wasn’t the kids that were the brunt of his physical strength. The kids hide in their room as he berates their mother for how inadequate she is. As he storms out of the house to escape to the local bar, the guilt hits him but he snuffs it out, angry that yet again he can’t come home to a peaceful house after a hard day at work. That night while he tries to sleep, he faces his demons. How did he end up like this? When did it all start? He tells himself that tomorrow he will do better. When will he have had enough?
“The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:6-10
The young college student turns on his laptop, and without really meaning to, he visits the pornographic website for the second time that day. He tells himself that he isn’t hurting anyone. That the women on the screen need to make a living just like everyone else. Besides, everyone he knows does it, too. But this time, something bothers him. He can’t place his finger on it, but he knows that what he sees before him is a poor representation of reality. He tells himself that tomorrow he will stop. When will he have had enough?
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
The wife calls her husband to tell him that she will not be able to come home until late. Her boss scheduled a last minute meeting that she has to attend. As she hangs up, she gets into the convertible of her coworker and goes to his house. His wife is away, and they know that it is a prime opportunity. That night as he drops her off at her car so she can drive home, she can’t successfully shove down the feelings of guilt and shame that she had so easily hidden before. Why was this time more difficult than all the rest? She tells herself that this was the last time. When will she have had enough?
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
The doctor stands over his pregnant patient as he prepares to perform a surgical procedure to remove a blob of “tissue” that will one day be a burden for her. He told her the same thing he tells all of his patients: although the tissue has a potential for human life, it hasn’t yet achieved the status of personhood with all the accompanying rights. It hadn’t always been this way. The first time he performed an abortion it was actually really difficult, although he wouldn’t have been able to tell you why. As he watched the techs clear away the remnants of the procedure, this time he saw it differently. The blobs of tissue resembled a baby, and there was no denying it. This little baby was a girl. He tells himself that it will only be a few more weeks; then he can close the practice and retire like he had been wanting to for three years now. But the years just kept going by, and he kept the money rolling in to provide the type of life for his family that he felt obligated to give them. When will he have had enough?
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
The young father gets home from a difficult shift and grabs the Oxycodone. As he grabs the needle and crushes the pills up, he remembers that tomorrow is his weekend with the kids. He almost stops, knowing he shouldn’t. But his addiction wins, and as he shoots up, he is instantly filled with both sweet relief and harrowing guilt. He tells himself that this week he will kick his habit. And next time he has the kids, he will be clean. When will he have had enough?
The Father sits on his throne and watches the children of the earth shake their fists at him, blame him for their circumstances, blame him for the choices that they make everyday to deny the voice he had placed inside them to choose what was right. They believe the lie that they can’t have enough, because they believe the lie that he was not enough. His way of salvation is shunned and pushed aside, as if the cry of the Savior, “It is finished!” was not loud enough to drown out the pull of their addictions and sin.
The Son of Man stands at his right hand, praying for his people, interceding on their behalf.
The myriads of angels wait in anticipation for the release of their Master to make everything new again.
The saints of old cry out with the psalmist, “Arise, Oh Lord, oh God! Lift up your hand! Forget not the afflicted…break the arm of the wicked and evildoer, call his wickedness to account, until you find none!”
The blood of the innocent cries out to him from the ground.
The whole earth groans, waiting for its eventual freedom from bondage and decay.
The Father of Glory looks back at his Sons sacrifice and indeed…it was enough. He stands from his throne, and all of heaven and earth holds its collective breath, waiting for what he will say next. “It is time. Enough.”
Will you be ready? Will you cast aside every burden and every sin, and run to the one who will always be enough? The day is coming. It will come life a thief in the night. The heavens will be torn open, and the Son of God will descend to claim his own, set the captives free, and judge the world with equity and justice. He will “incline his ear to do justice to the fatherless and oppressed, until man, who is of the earth, will strike terror no more.”
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