Jesus Loves You Too Much to Let You Stay the Same

It was the end of small group and we had just wrapped up discussing the topic of the night. Like every Sunday evening, this week’s discussion was deep—soul-piercingly deep. People had really laid their hearts out on the table, inviting those of us in the room into the middle of their painful situations in a way that transformed that simple living room into a very sacred space.

Our group leader announced we would end our time together in prayer, and welcomed us to take turns praying out loud whatever was on our hearts. Being the introvert that I am, it’s not often that I speak up during group. But after a night of such honesty before God and vulnerability before each other, my mouth opened to share the prayer forming behind my lips.

“Jesus…thank You for loving us too much to let us stay the same.”

The circle of individuals gathered there that night represented story after story of shattered lives, broken pasts, and painful present circumstances. As a group, we’d come to realize and accept that God does not always take us out of difficult seasons. Rather, He wants to meet us in the midst of them and use those difficult circumstances to change us.

My own story in the last year includes hard experiences that made me question practically everything I thought I knew about life and God. I’d spent months in a dark depression that I daily begged Jesus to take me out of. I couldn’t understand what I was going through at the time, but now on the other side I know my faith grew in ways it never would have had God just snapped His fingers and removed me from it.

So as I sat surrounded by people similarly changed by God through fire or still in the midst of the fire, I prayed what I never thought I’d be able to pray not so long ago.

“Jesus, thank You for loving us too much to let us stay the same.”

I was not thanking God for letting me go through the experiences I endured. I was not thanking Him for letting me feel such immense pain and despair during that time.

What I was thanking Him for was His love—a love that saw a heart that truly wanted to know Him, and a love that looked at the person I was a year ago and said, “Sara, you mean too much to Me to let you hold on to such a fragmented understanding of who I am.”

Like a father who knows the only way his child will learn to ride a bike is to take off the training wheels, God knew how my experiences of this past year were going to remove the obstacles keeping me stuck in my faith journey with Him.

So I say to you, a person of worth who may be going through something too immense and hard for words—don’t give up. You are smack-dab in the middle of experiencing the truth that God works all things for the good of those who love Him. You are being shaped and changed by this season in ways nothing else could have changed you. You are watching word-by-word your story being written.

Do not let the stark whiteness of the rest of the empty page before you dishearten you.

Why? Because as difficult as this season may be, meditate on the fact that Jesus loves you way too much to let you remain the same person you’ve been. He loves you too much to let old habits go unbroken, to let relational problems forever have a hold on you, to never face the very circumstances it would take to make you the healed and whole version of yourself He created you to be—who He longs for you to be.

He is setting you free, my friend. From comparison, from toxic relationships, from past regrets, from ignorance, from anxiety, from self-hatred. He’s made you, made us, for so much more.

And I hope that, in time, you can join me in lifting up this prayer.

Jesus, thank You for loving us too much to let us stay the same.

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