by Emily Conrad
Between the 400 bulbs on the artificial Christmas tree, the string of icicle lights hanging inside the window, the four-bulb light fixture, and the two-wick candle, there are approximately five hundred lights glowing in this room, and I’m not sure it’s enough.
The morning is dark, and I’m insecure.
I quit a church committee recently. The group does good work and has been a lot of fun, but I’ve also taken on other commitments recently and needed to make some hard choices.
I am not good at quitting things—jobs, committees, other tasks. I delay the decision. I deal with the stress. I stay on longer. In the case of this committee, I stayed on an entire extra year and still faced insecurity about my decision.
My hesitation stems from my habit of counting light bulbs.
I count the ministries where I serve, the writing, the family relationships, the responsibilities, the need for rest—and I’m confident I’ve got to pull the plug on something until I start counting other people’s light bulbs.
Their schedules are fuller, and their tasks seem more important, their needs a bigger priority.
So I reconsider the switch I want to flip Off. If I quit, am I still doing enough? Or am I lazy? As I cry, “Too much!” is the reality that I am too little?
Jesus, am I enough for You?
Enough to be loved. Enough to be used. Enough to be considered faithful.
When Mary sat at Jesus’s feet instead of helping Martha, He defended her.
There are so many, many things we can worry about, so many things that can keep us busy and that others might even think we should do, but only one thing matters: Jesus, the ultimate light.
In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it. John 1:4, NET
Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. […] But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5 and 7, NET
I’m called to walk in the light, but it’s not my job to keep the lights on. The energy bill has been paid in full. Darkness will not win, not because of my efforts, but because of Christ’s. He will illuminate truth and hope my man-made lights will always fail to reveal.
Like Mary, we are enough not because we do enough, but because we are His beloved, ones Jesus died to ransom.
There are no shadows in Him. As His children, we’re invited to soak up the floodlight of His grace and love.
We can stop counting light bulbs.
Without worry, we can plug in and unplug the little lights of our ministries and responsibilities as Christ directs. We needn’t hesitate for fear of anything, least of all the shadow of our own not-enoughness. We need only to walk in the light He provides.
Hands with light string photo by Josh Boot on Unsplash
Small white lights photo by Mark Rabe on Unsplash
Lights with sunrise photo by Naletu on Unsplash
Emily, this is so beautiful! “I’m called to walk in the light, but it’s not my job to keep the lights on.” I struggle with the same thing and have the same thoughts. Such balm here. Thank you, friend!
Yes, that's hard for me, too! I loved the book Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P Freeman, which also talks about this subject, if you want some more balm 🙂 So glad you stopped by the blog today!
What Pearl said! If we just stay in the light, I don't have to keep everything going and it really stresses me out even as much I love what I did. I can just stay in the "light" of Jesus. Love it, and God bless.
May you find rest with Him today! Thanks for reading!