Jesus is not enough

God bless nannies!  Imagine the life of Sherrie.  She is in her late twenties or early thirties and loves kids.  There are days, however, when she questions how long she will maintain her employment.  She is not always sure if her love for children and the paycheck plus housing she receives is worth enduring the dirty diapers, the lack of personal time, the runny noses, upset stomachs, and yelling that are not infrequent in infants, young children, and their siblings.  Until she knows, however, what her next chapter in life will be, the paycheck and frequent laughter is enough.sick child

Sherrie reminds me of my mother, sort of.  My mother worked a full day before she went by the grocery store, came home to prepare dinner by seven or seven-thirty, then clean the kitchen and perhaps pay the bills or do a load of laundry before tucking us in bed and saying prayers with my siblings and me.  I remember some of the times I did not make it to the bathroom before I threw up.  I never had to call.  She always heard me being sick and was nearly immediately by my side in the bedroom, hallway or bathroom.  She always looked exhausted but never failed to check my temperature, clean me up, change my linens and pajama’s if needed, broke out the oatmeal to sprinkle on my throw-up before sweeping it up, give me a wet washcloth if needed or a glass of water before shooing me back to bed.

I did not fully appreciate her sacrifice and understand her motivation until I had children of my own.  Her family was everything to her.  She loved her friends, her church, and usually her job. Nevertheless, nothing else came close to the deep and abiding affection she demonstrated for her immediate family. She did not just put up with us.  We made her life rich even with the rough edges.

Is Jesus enough when some consider you weak and in need of a crutch?  Is Jesus enough when temptation comes your way and you are told, “you deserve” or “everyone else is”?  Is this what a nanny Christian is; a person who likes part of their life, dislikes portions, but endures their current circumstances because it is a means to an end?

Paul told the believers in his second letter to those living in Corinth that his love for them was demonstrated through “great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God”. It is not that Jesus, like a paycheck, was enough to make it worth his trouble.  Jesus was everything.

Paul did not mean he would put up with these negatives because Jesus gave him enough love, strength, patience, etc. until things got better.  Paul was saying that because Jesus was everything, nothing else by comparison mattered.  Because Jesus is everything, he could do anything “through Christ”. No price was too high if it was for Jesus, his Savior and Friend.   Jesus is not enough.  Jesus is everything!

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