An author and researcher I respect often says, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough!”1
What about the times when you are not enough though? What about when you are doing your best at school or work and still failing? Or when you are a less-than-adequate spouse or incapable of attracting a life companion in the first place? Or when human frailty, destructive relationships, loneliness or the stresses of life seem too much to bear? Will deluding yourself with self-affirmations fill that gap?
Some weaknesses can be rooted out with persistent effort, study and help. Others can be managed with medication, avoidance or following through with difficult decisions. We are not talking about fixable problems within reach of the surface though. This is about the hopeless ones submerged under miles of black ocean.
This article is for those who are not enough – especially when they need to be.
To resolve a hopeless situation is to perform a miracle. And we cannot speak of miracles without bringing in God. So let’s talk about how he can make us more than we are.
God does not require heroic feats or angelic purity before he is willing to help. He waits with open arms for the worst of us. God only requires that we be humble and willing to change. And not just willing to change one thing. We must be willing to let him change any part of us that he wants to. We cannot be lifted to the next rung on the ladder while clinging to lower heights.
All those who make such a commitment receive a gift. Prophets describe this gift as a wind, a spirit, a breath, truth, a comforter or a still small voice. It is the refiner’s fire.
This gift has peculiar powers. It enhances the recipient while providing an escape. The gift can come in the form of pure knowledge that bypasses the senses and flows directly into the mind. It comes through the recognition of previously unavailable opportunities. It comes as the capacity to do what was once impossible. Or through an expanded perspective.
God’s fire does not transform a broken man into a perfect saint but into a saintlier version of himself. And if he persists in openness to change and humility then God will make him greater still – here a little and there a little. He will not become the ideal, but God will lift him to greater heights than he imagined possible.
Escape from unquenchable suffering may not come instantly, and it may not come in the way you expect, but it will come. You will recognize the wisdom of it intellectually and feel the goodness of it. Growth will also bring with it a greater desire to help others and a greater power to do so.
How do you experience this refining fire? Find a quiet place and describe your devastation to God. Commit to him and his plan for you. Ask for him to make an escape for you and way that you might bear it. If you are sincere and persistent in your commitment, miracles will come. And they will come through the breath of God.