Start from where you are right now

What is it that you would like to do?  Today?  Tomorrow?  This month?  This year?  In your lifetime?

This may be a simple, yet obvious statement, but you can only begin from where you are right now.  It is OK to start from where you are at.

Let me share a few of the things that I would like.  Today I’d like to make a few phone calls and get a few tasks off my nagging unfinished task list that are driving me nuts.  For the future, I want to be a more easy going, fun loving wife and mother.  I would like to be a better writer and have an opportunity to speak at more events.  I would like to lose at least twenty pounds.

I can be incredibly critical with myself that I am not already there.  I can add anxiety to my life by focusing on the past and what got me here, seeing only the problems.  In my mind it can feel like where I am at currently is a really bad place and that I must work hard just to get to a place where I can begin from.

I can get myself literally worked up to tears.  Then I go to God weeping and apologizing and asking for forgiveness for every problem.  This is a good thing.  But then I feel as though I need to be punished and must work hard to earn back what I destroyed.  I’m still focused on the problem.

God is already focused on the progress and the potential that I have to go where He wants me to go.

I think God wants me to acknowledge the problem so I can take account of where I am at right now.  But I also think that He wants us to see the progress; to celebrate where we have come from and where He has brought us to.  I know He wants me to trust Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made by His hand (Psalm 139:14), as long as I am still breathing, I have potential to follow Him.  Walking in God’s will for my life is how I will experience the abundant life that He has for me.

I can only start from where I am right now.

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Even though I may wish I was better equipped and more prepared, that I was more talented or in better shape, I must start from where I am right now.  There is nothing wrong with that.  God knows it all.  It’s not a surprise to Him.  He is not ashamed of where I am.  He knew I would be here.

I was recently reading through the story of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.  I think this story is a great illustration of how God so graciously allows people to start from where they are at right now.

Jesus is traveling to Galilee from Judea through Samaria.  He is feeling tired from His journey and sits down next to a well.  A Samaritan woman comes to the well and Jesus meets her right where she is at – where she is at in her day and where she is at in her life.  All of the good choices.  All of the bad choices.  All of the problems that have happen in her life.  They all meet Jesus at this point.

It is just Jesus and the woman.  They talk about the simplest of things, a drink of water.  The woman is at the well to get water and Jesus uses it as the conversation starter.  Jesus then addresses the problem, He brings it right out into the open.  He asks her to bring her husband.  She replies that she has no husband.  Jesus acknowledges that she has no husband, but that she has had five husbands and the man she is currently with is not her husband.

The Samaritan woman then declares that Jesus must be a prophet.  I think this shows the progress she has made in even the short time with Jesus.  She has moved from talking about water and the problems of her life, to acknowledging who Jesus is.  Then she says that she knows a Messiah, Christ, is coming.  Then the potential is revealed.  Jesus declares that He is the Christ.

Starting from where she is at in that moment, the Samaritan woman leaves her water jar, returns to town and says, “Come see the One who met me right where I was at, who acknowledged my problems, who showed me progress and who declared the potential life that I have in Him.”  Then John tells us that the people came out of town and made their way toward Jesus.

I think the most amazing verse is John 4:39, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did’.”

Jesus took a woman from right where she was at.  He took her past.  He helped her make progress.  He revealed her potential.  Jesus used her to spread messages of hope, of life and of His love to others.  That is amazing!

Jesus loves you so much!  He wants to help you acknowledge all of the problems.  He desires to help you make progress.  He longs to help reveal to you all of the potential that God created you for.  The best part is that He will help you to start from where you are right now.

Do you feel like you would like to be in improved physical condition?  Start from where you are right now.  Work with Jesus.  He would love to go for a walk with you.  He’s also into workout dvd’s.  Perhaps you are at the level where you can go for a three mile run.  He can handle that too.

Is there a pile of documents on your desk that require tough decisions or slow processing of many contingent details?  Perhaps one that you have been avoiding because you do not even know where to begin.  Jesus will start with you right now.  Take some time to sit down with Him.  He can at least help you make notes of what you might need to know to take that next step.

Perhaps there is a relationship that has drifted more than you would like.  Maybe you have a phone call that you have needed to return for a while now.  Jesus can help you pick that phone up and make the call.  He will coach you through what to say.

The most important thing to remember is that where you are right now in this moment is perfectly alright.  God’s love for you is so great that my meager words won’t ever do it justice.

God treasures you.  God cherishes you.  You are precious to God.

Do not beat yourself up over what you have done or what you have been through.  Do not add anxiety to your life wishing that you had made different choices and were in a different place.

Start from where you are at right now, in this moment.  Close your precious eyes.  Take slow deep breathes.  Listen to the sound of the air coming in and exiting your lungs.  Picture that sound as waves of mercy and grace washing over you as the waves of the ocean wash upon the shore.

God’s mercy and grace will wash away those problems of the past, will help you make progress moving forward and they will uncover more of the potential that God designed into you from the very beginning.

Where you are right now is exactly where God knew you would be.  He’s here for you right now.  God loves you so much.  He wants to laugh with you.  He wants to grieve with you.  He wants to overcome obstacles with you.  He wants to guide you one step at a time, starting from where you are right now.

Beloved Lord,

Thank you so much for meeting us right where we are, in this moment, in this place.  Thank You for Your faithfulness.  Thank You for loving us enough to accept all of the problems that we have had in the past and to wipe our slates clean with Your mercies anew each morning (Lamentations 3:23). 

Thank You so much for helping us to make progress.  Thank You for every step that You guide us into and see us through.  We appreciate how You hem us in behind and before (Psalm 139:5).  Thank You so much for all of the potential that You wove into us from the very beginning.  Thank you for all that You will do in our lives from this point. 

Lord, I pray a special blessing over each person who reads these words.  Lord, may each reader receive Your love first through their mind and let it soak deep into the depths of their hearts.  May they feel and be aware of Your presence at that very moment.  May it bring You glory. 

In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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