At a retreat a few weeks ago, I found myself singing Set a Fire with the other retreatants and the line “there’s no place I’d rather be than here in Your love” struck me a little deeper than usual.

It was incredibly bold. There is no place that I would rather be?

And I imagined the life I wanted for myself, filled with a husband and kids gathered into a warm home, and I sang that lyric again. Those words, in a brief blitz of grace, became something I fiercely desired to be true. Instead of all of my vain imaginings about the future, a future which may never be, I wanted to want to be in that moment, receiving the Lord’s love.

It doesn’t mean my heart no longer wanted those things, but I was shaken with the renewed realization that God can only be met in the present moment. The Lord isn’t in my rosy dreams of domestic bliss, even if He desires it for me in the future. Similarly, the Lord isn’t in my imagined ideal job, where my gifts are fully utilized.

The Lord, instead, is present in the here and now. It is in this moment that He offers me grace. And it will only ever be in the current moment. He has plans for my future, great and beautiful plans, but He is with me in the now.

That experience in a chilly gymnasium was important for my heart. It shifted my perspective and reminded me that while my melancholic heart runs dreamily through the future or critically examines the past, it needs to be rooted in the present. I sang, unwittingly at first, a lyric that I quickly realized wasn’t true. I didn’t want to be in that moment and I would much rather be in another, one of my own creation or fashioning. Yet the phrase began to take root in my heart. Instead of longing for another place or another time, what if I just fully encountered the Lord now and loved being in this moment? What might that do for my experience of life?

I still have hopes and dreams, wishes for what the future will hold and desires for how it will be different than now. But I’m seeking to love now more. I’m trying to meet Jesus today and recognize that He isn’t waiting for me in some imaginary life but is present with me today, in my messy life with all that I wish were otherwise.

The Lord is present to me today. And, by His grace, there is no place I’d rather be than soaking up His love right now.

Photo by rosario janza on Unsplash

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