This article is perhaps part self-reflection on my life and part appreciation of the sufficiency of Christ. An aspect of me thinks it would be cool if this was read at my funeral, who knows how many years in the future. My desire here is just to put into words the appreciations and convictions that have been settling in my mind over the past few months.
Reflecting on where I am in life right now, in the midst of my early twenties and a year out from finishing nursing school, I feel like I’ve done a lot. I’ve been all over the United States, throughout Europe, and throughout other parts of the world. I’ve met many great people, played many sports, acquired knowledge in various disciplines, and developed many skills. At the same time, there is much that I have yet to do. I haven’t pursued graduate education (something I may desire in the future), gotten married, bought a house, or started my career. I feel like I have already accomplished much in my few years, but I have yet to accomplish other culturally significant milestones. Although I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me in the future, I can honestly say that I am satisfied now. I am satisfied with what I’ve done in my life because I am satisfied in Christ.
“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8
It has been the truth of these verses, and others like them, that have been permeating my mind the last few months. Christ is sufficient. How amazing a truth is that! Even though many aspects of this life are transient and much of their worth will pass with the passing of this age: money, homes, cars, diplomas, physical accolades; Christ is forever and the satisfaction he provides is eternal. I have everything I need in Him and what I do have in Him will last for eternity. Indeed, once I go to be with him, I will experience the satisfaction He provides all the more fully! Compared to Christ, what is the worth of our transient pursuits while on earth?
I feel like a contributing factor to my satisfaction in Christ is how the Lord has allowed me to serve Him in my life thus far. He’s allowed me to serve in youth ministry for years, be involved in discipleship, help shape and refine the theological lenses of people I’ve met, be involved in worship, and be involved in various forms of teaching and preaching. The satisfaction that comes from being able to serve and labor in eternally significant ways is far greater than the satisfaction derived from transient, temporal pursuits!
“Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:12-15
I don’t know when the Lord will take me, whether in eighty years or tomorrow. I do know that I’m satisfied with how I’ve lived my life in that I’ve been able to live it in Christ, and I’ll continue to work at endeavors with eternal significance.
One amazing corollary of being satisfied in Christ is that I’m able to derive so much more satisfaction in secular pursuits. Because I am not looking for life satisfaction in my secular pursuits, I can more greatly appreciate them for what they allow me to enjoy of the human experience on earth. If I was trying to derive life satisfaction from pursuits like my career, skills, possessions, or relationships; I would be more cynical, critical, and disillusioned with them for not being able to provide me with abiding satisfaction, the satisfaction only found in Christ. However, because I am rooted in that true satisfaction, I can more greatly appreciate the limited satisfaction derived from secular pursuits for what they’re worth. The more I’m rooted in Christ, serving Christ, and growing in Christlikeness, the more I’m satisfied in Him. The more I’m satisfied in Him, the more I can derive satisfaction from the other pursuits of my life. Oh these amazing truths and blessings flowing from the throne of God, from the cross of Christ! I resonate all the more with the cry of Paul:
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21
My friends, whether the Lord calls me home today, in one year, or in a hundred; know that I am satisfied: satisfied in my life, satisfied in Him, and satisfied in His plans for me. So if this is read upon my departure, don’t grieve for long. Remember that I’ve gone to be with the Christ, the one whom I’ve spent my life in pursuit of! Until then, I labor to serve the Lord, live a life exuding Christ, and striving to see and proclaim Christ from all of Scripture.