Fun Family Fact:
Out of the 10,384 texts parents send their kids each year, the top messages are…
1,186- I love you.
1,1018- When will you be home?
989- Where are you?
It spoke to my heart because these are the same text messages that God sends us. It may not come in a text but He whispers it to our hearts. He shows it to us in His word. He reveals it in our struggle.
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with everlasting kindness I have drawn you.Jeremiah 31:3
Everything God does comes from his love. Every. Single. Thing. To hear about the love of God is one thing but there can be no comparison to the one who has experienced this love.
If words could paint the picture on canvas it would be hard to keep it hidden. Nothing about love is obscure. It is extravagantly displayed everywhere we look.
In nature. In the face of a child. In a stranger’s kindness. That you woke up breathing today. Nothing can smother out the love of God. We can minimize it, but it has a way of being in your face calling us back to it.
Why? So we can’t miss it. Not by a long shot. This love calls out to us in our best and at our worst. It’s the reason we can go on.
God’s love comes rushing in when the whole world turns on its heels and leaves you high and dry in your greatest time of need. Not God. He’s your friend that sticks closer than a brother.
God’s love is so extravagant that it’s hard for us to comprehend. Suspicious about it, we think we need to“do” something for it. The cost was high, but for you and me, it is freely offered.
Extravagant means are extended to a love-starved people who are just hungry enough to receive it, knowing they couldn’t earn it if they tried.
Hey, just wondering. When will you be home? I have left the light on for you. This is the cry of God’s heart. He knows why He says this and so do we.
This life has led us on some long lost roads. Weary, we search, we scrounge and feel our way around. We stumble back into the light hoping the path will lead us home.
We can hear but if we are honest, we have chosen selective hearing. Nodding our heads yes but our hearts are stating a firm no.
This often is a ‘no’ that we internally wrestle with, but it isn’t a rebellious no. It’s more like a fearful hesitancy that unleashes more questions than I dare admit.
Off the Path
When the what if’s start coming I start pedaling. I just go. Where? Who knows. I see a road and I am almost certain it will lead me somewhere and it does.
It is not the destination I had hoped for. The path seemed good. It looked good but somewhere along the way I got lost, I got more scared. The adrenaline kicked in and I just kept going so much further and deeper than I should.
Then I ended up more lost. As if, you can get more lost. All along I kept hearing a quiet voice whisper, I love you, I left the light on for you. When will you be home?
I set out to turn back from this path. So I turned and I turned. I looked and peered down that path as far as I could but I wasn’t able to see. It seemed as if a fog had blurred my vision.
Before, my eyes seemed so clear. No blur anywhere, but now, it seems that this path has brought danger to my sight, to my vision. It’s not night blindness. It’s not even blindness. It’s blurriness. This path promised a lot because it looked promising, but it wasn’t.
I got to the end and it was a dead end. Not even a pretty view. Who knew? Why on earth would I have taken this path?
The motive behind why I chose this path is so unclear, but all I know is it ended up here. Right in the middle of nowhere. Contrary to what it promised. It kind of broke me. Then all of a sudden. I hear a whisper, “Where are you?”
Immediately, I fled. I was so afraid that I hid. The voice was familiar, so familiar that every cell in my body felt exposed and tears began to fall. I knew this voice.
I ran behind the tree and started snapping off as many branches as I could to camouflage myself. If I could break off enough branches and cover-up no one will recognize me.
Then, I realized no one will recognize me because no one is looking for me. Only one. The one I hear from inside knocking on the door of my heart gently nudging the question again. “Where are you?”
I want to say my interpretation of the voice I heard was with love but your perception can be skewed when you’re off the right path. I wondered if I heard it with anger. As if punishment was coming my way.
Then I heard, I love you. It is finished.
What is finished supposed to mean? Perplexed, it was my next immediate thought. Then He said something to me, “What I am doing you don’t understand now but you will later.”
With these words, love opened my heart and I threw the branches off and stood in the middle of the road. Not hiding. Not covering up. Just me and the voice that is pursuing me.
Words that are whispered woo you, they soften your heart. They don’t scare you.
Back on the Path
Now, back on the path, I am exposed with arms wide open and okay with it. All because it was finished.
Everything I wanted and needed was back in the holler. The most beautiful garden you have ever seen.
I’ve been there before and knew my way around. I see the fig leaves and cringe. A trigger of my failure. I was invited back into the place I had known so well. I am being grafted back in ever so gently..
My place was found again. As I thought about the fig leaf and began to cry, I heard the whisper again. “There you are.” He said .“I finished the work.” Mercy spoke to me.
This whisper sounded like the sound of many waters, washing over me.
Tears are falling so hard and as they do I am feeling lighter and lighter. More loved and more loved. It was like those words kept hugging me. They kept seeking me.
The Lost Can Be Found
Lost people can be found if they want to be. U-turns are often allowed and encouraged, no citations given. Crooked paths can be made straight.
On the way back up to the corrected way I’m tempted to berate myself, but I stop. I stop myself because the path is growing brighter and brighter, no place to bring darkness back in.
Tears falling harder and harder I feel myself getting stronger and stronger. The blurred vision is becoming clearer with every mile I travel.
The ‘I love you’ I heard from the beginning is surrounding me. I hear others cheering,” We knew you would come home.”
And the few who didn’t want to come to the party were whispering amongst themselves about some fatted calf.
In the meantime, we danced and danced and walked through the most interesting garden. The party went on all night and I was encouraged to invite friends to join us in the fun.
Can you believe it? All of this was done for me.
It was the last time I heard the question, Where are you?
Finally, I reach the end which is the beginning and I exhale.