Enough is Enough
By DANNY MINTON
Have you ever come to a point in your life where things go so wrong over and over that you want to yell out, “Enough is Enough?” Sometimes in our lives, we get to the point where dealing with things seems to be more than we can bear. We wonder why we must face one bad thing after another. Sometimes we get up in the morning and decide the best way to handle today would be to go back to bed!
So, let me share our journey over the last few months. First, we found termite nests and had an exterminator come out and treat the house. Okay, expensive, but I could handle that. Then I go outside and see water coming from under the foundation, so I call a plumber. Bad news, we had a burst pipe under the house and had to replace the line. Then, a few days later, the 1930s oak flooring in the front bedroom began to rise from water that had leaked. The entire floor and subfloor had to be ripped out and replaced. Insurance paid some but didn’t cover the water leak repair or the deductible for fixing the inside. A few weeks later, I’m watching TV, and it decides to turn off on its own. I turn it back on, and ten minutes later, it flickers and goes off again. I check connections and plugs, wait half an hour, then turn it back on. It goes for fifteen minutes, flickers, and turns off. It had a bad motherboard. It’s not worth fixing, so we replaced it. Last night we were preparing a meal to take to a family gathering. We put some potatoes in the microwave to boil. After setting the timer several times, the potatoes were still uncooked. We finished them in another microwave, and this morning I discovered that the original one did not heat anymore. Next week I go to the doctor, who, I’m sure, will tell me I need to have foot surgery. One negative thing following another made me say to myself, “Enough is Enough!”
Now I’m not on the same struggle level as Job, but I couldn’t help but think about him this morning. He lost everything from possessions to family and still refused to curse God for all that happened. He endured all these trials and still did not lose his love and confidence in God. He said in one way or another, “Enough is Enough; I’m tired of all this.” He could not see any good in his life and even wished he’d never been born.
Life has its challenges, and for some, they become overburdensome. We don’t understand the struggles we have to face, and some even question, “Why God?” I don’t know anyone who has had a perfect life without heartache or disappointment. We see people publicly and wish our lives could be like theirs, not knowing what happens in someone’s private life. I can’t count the times I have been surprised to hear that someone is getting a divorce or having issues I had no idea existed. I tell people, “You never know what’s happening behind their closed doors.” So, how do we handle life when it throws us problem after problem? How to get up and keep going when we just want to give up and quit?
In the movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” Sam’s wife has died, and he lives alone with his son. There’s a scene where he talks to a radio talk-show counselor who asks him, “What are you going to do, Sam?” He answers her, “I’m gonna get out of bed every morning … breathe in and out all day long. Then after a while, I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out.”
Life will have its ups and downs. When the downs outweigh the ups, we can begin to question God, asking, “Why?” With that question, we join a long line of “men of God” along with Job, who asked the same question. Men like David, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, and Jeremiah found themselves asking God, “Why?” Nearly everyone comes to some point in their life when they want to know why things are not going as they hoped and planned. Why are things falling apart?
Again, the question arises, “How do we handle things when life is a downer?” Job gives us an answer to how he made it through the worst part of his life. After hearing from friends who did little to help and then listening to God, Job speaks up, “Then Job replied to the LORD: ‘I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely, I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6 (NIV2011)
Job realized that no matter the circumstance, God remained close to Him. God was not the problem. The problem was letting the things that got him down take priority in his life over the good all around. We must learn to pick ourselves up and realize that no matter what happens, God will always be there for us. In his writings, knowing he had shortcomings and problems in his life, Paul still found time to say, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 The most challenging road to travel is the one we try and walk alone. If we take the time to look around, we’ll see God right beside us.
The poem “Footprints in the Sand” has more than a dozen people who claim to have written the well-known poem. A couple of the verses remind us of how God is always there. For those who haven’t read it, it’s about someone walking along the sand and seeing his footprints with the Lord’s beside him. After a while, he only sees one set and questions God as to “Why” he left him alone. God then answers him.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
There was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
Remember, we are never alone. When things aren’t going as your heart desires, remember you can always turn to the Lord. David wrote, “Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.” Psalm 31:3-5 (NIV2011)
Next time you feel down because of everything going wrong, stop and breathe. Then open your Bible and read Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” (NIV) After you read it, set your Bible aside and offer this simple prayer of thanks, “Thank you, Lord, for carrying me when I feel like ‘Enough is Enough.”
Danny Minton is an Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ