Some of the most comforting words I ever heard were:"God loves you where you are."
When those precious words were said to me about 15 years ago they came just at the right time. I wasn't sure God did love me. I was pretty sure he didn't actually. And this person who said them to me had been on her own spiritual journey for quite some time and was used by God to transplant those words of grace and hope into my life at a time where quite honestly, I was at the end of my rope and wondering if life was worth living. I was in despair and needed God to come to me where I was. He did.
But since then -- I have evolved.
Now, I don't want God to love me where I am.
What if I am face down in the pig's trough like the prodigal son who wandered away to "live the good life"? God please don't leave me here in desperation!
What if I am in the wilderness, wandering around in the dark in rebellion to God's will for my life?
God please bring me out of the darkness!
What if I have my head so far up....well you know where?
God, GET ME OUT OF HERE!
And what if I am somewhere pleasant, sunny, wonderful and pleasurable, but it exactly where I am NOT supposed to be? What if I am somewhere, doing something God never intended for me to do?
God turn me around and set me on the right path!
This is what I mean by the evolution of love.
First, I just wanted, needed in fact, God to come to me and love me where I was, as I was. My heart was pleading, "God do you love me?" I needed to hear, I needed to FEEL his love say "Yes, I do." And I did, in that moment when those words were shared with me and in the days to come after that by the many loving people who rallied around me during some dark times. God was there with me. His love reached me where I was and I am so thankful for that.
But now, as I grow in my faith, I want God to lead me. I want him to grow me. I want to be changed, developed, renewed, MOVED. I don't want to stay here and just be patted on the head by God. I want to be used by God. Sure, I still need the reassurance of his love constantly because doubt is never far from my mind and faith is fleeting, but please God, don't leave me where I am, as I am. Love me right here and then lead me, prod me, poke me, push me, carry me, HOUND ME, whatever you need to do to make me into the person who knows you more clearly, loves you more dearly and follow you more nearly. Send me out of my current place, in the empowerment of your love to reach out to others where they are with the same message of hope and acceptance I receieved so many years ago.
God loves you where you are!
And he loves you too much to leave you there!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Prodigal Son: Luke 15:11-32
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