I watched as the Keurig drip, drip, dripped the bitter liquid into my mug. Energy to get me through the next two periods.
Desperate measures were needed. Okay…maybe not so desperate and not so out-of-the-ordinary. But still. Even after grading hours over Thanksgiving break, I still have two stacks of essays and five classes of journals to go.
As coffee brewed I lamented to one of my dearest colleagues. The one who teaches me daily of grace and kindness.
“She did what she could,” my friend whispered.
I nodded and agreed. It’s all we can do, right?
Then she stopped me in my tracks. “It’s one of my favorite scriptures. I have it circled. On days like today, I tell myself over and over—she did what she could.”
Wait. How have I missed these soul-saving words? These words of healing balm for the anxiety-ridden heart.
Where? What story?
“It’s when Mary anoints Jesus with perfume.” My grace-giving friend smiled, and we headed to our classrooms.
But all day long, the phrase she spoke circled in and out of my thoughts.
She did what she could.
The story in scripture is beautiful. Mary ventures into a crowded room with a bottle of expensive perfume. Not just any bottle, but one of great value. Alabaster.
To the shock and disdain of those around, Mary broke the bottle and poured the lavish perfume over Jesus.
His words stopped the rebukes that fell heavy on her shoulders. “She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.”
While her actions may seem strange to us, in the custom of Jewish burial, a body was rubbed with oils and perfumes. What Mary could not have known was the crucifixion of Christ was to take place only days later.
Her offering—a sacrifice of immense value—ministered to the Creator of heaven and earth.
But did you hear His words?
It wasn’t the value of her gift. Jesus’ response was that Mary did what she could. It was her complete surrender. For Him, that was enough.
For us? His words are freedom.
Even thought I need constant reminding, I’m free from the chains of anxiety. Anxiety that has been thick these last few weeks. Anxiety that has chased close, yapping and barking—telling me I will never get it all done, that I’m a failure.
My task list keeps growing. Midterms peak their evil heads around the corner. Countless errands and chores around my home add to the weariness. The Christmas season intensifies my pounding heart. And I’m fraying in all the wrong places.
If I live with my Jesus in mind, if I work to serve His purpose, and if I do what I can, then it is enough. Because, friends, Jesus makes it enough.
It wasn’t Mary’s offering that was enough. It was that Jesus made it so because He saw her heart—a heart of sacrifice. She selflessly did all she could when she broke the jar and poured out what she had.
The same is true for us. When we give Jesus our all, He will make it enough.
She did what she could.
Allow those words to sink into the depths of your tired soul.
Do what you can.
And then rest.
Because truly? I can never be enough for anyone. Nothing I do will ever make me a perfect wife. I could move mountains for my children and they will still require more. I could work 80-hour weeks and never be everything my students need.
I am never enough.
But I can do all I can.
Jesus whispers that my offering is plenty.