Steve’s Devotional – When God Says, “It’s Enough!”
JULY 17, 2014
Have you ever met anyone who liked to go to the dentist? My dentist friends have told me that their profession takes an incredible toll on their fellow practitioners because it’s a thankless job. If your surgeon hurts you terribly, once you’re out of the operating room, you thank him or her profusely. If your pastor comes and offers a prayer, he is thanked for offering it. But a dentist is hardly ever thanked. In fact, most folks are in such a hurry to get out of the dental office that all you usually see are heels and elbows.
There is, however, one really nice thing about going to the dentist. It’s the time toward the end of your visit when the drill stops and the dentist looks into your mouth and utters those glorious words: “It’s enough. That’s about it. Rinse your mouth out.” To me, when the dentist says that, it’s almost as good as the time when Jesus will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”! (Matthew 25:21).
God sometimes echoes something similar to what one hears from the dentist. You go through a horrible time in your life and you wonder if it is ever going to end, and then, for no explainable reason, everything changes—things start looking up, the depression lifts, the situation changes and, all of a sudden, you can see the Son shine again. That’s when you know God has said, “It’s enough. That’s about it.”
That was the experience of Job. When Job first started experiencing the devastation of everything important in his life, he was quite spiritual about the matter. He said with great faith and submission, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10). The one recording all this commented, “In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Job must have thought, Certainly things can’t get any worse. But they did. When his hardship and pain went from bad to really bad, the clichés and the platitudes melted away. It’s interesting to watch the gradual loss of easy spirituality in Job’s life. He even finally reached the place where all he wanted to do was die.
However, the most difficult thing Job faced was that he didn’t know why all of these bad things were happening to him. (We, of course, are allowed to see what was going on behind the scenes in Job 1 and 2, but Job didn’t get a chance to read those chapters.) So Job sets his case before God, calling on him to vindicate him. But when God shows up and runs a rather long series of questions past Job designed to humble him, he says “Oops!” Then God really steps in: “The Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before” (42:10). In other words, God said, “It’s enough.”
You may be going through a divorce or facing very difficult physical problems or feeling debilitated by guilt or experiencing incredible family problems. Maybe your finances are a hassle, you’re suffering the loneliness of lost friendships or the death of a loved one. Perhaps you’re dealing with a past filled with the trauma of abuse and abandonment. Or maybe you’re worried about your children or your parents. You know the Bible says that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28), but when the pain is horrible and the fear so real you can hardly stand it, you may have a tendency to wonder.
Some Good News Amid the Unknown
I’m not a guru, and I certainly don’t know all the reasons any of us has to go through difficult times. Sure, there are some biblical answers to the questions asked in the pain. There are doctrinal and theological ways to resolve one’s intellectual dilemmas. Sometimes God is teaching us things we need to learn. There are times when God in his sovereign love chooses to reveal to us why we have to face the pain. But sometimes Heaven seems cold and silent. I know. I’ve experienced that too. The fact is, much of the bad stuff we have to face now we won’t understand until we get Home. In the meantime, I’ve got some good news for you.
First, God loves you and he doesn’t do anything without reason. There’s meaning and wisdom behind your pain, even if you don’t see it. Peter wrote, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12-13).
And second, God knows you and what you can bear. He will accomplish his purpose, and then, when his purpose is accomplished, he will say like the dentist, “That’s about it. It’s enough.” He will say that at exactly the right time—and that time may be soon.
Time to Draw Away
Read Daniel 4:28-37, John 9:1-7 & Isaiah 41:10
Do you feel stretched to the limit? Is the pain and struggle almost more than you can bear? God will not desert you. You are not alone. One day God will say, “It’s enough.” In the meantime, stay close to his side and rest in his comfort and help.