Loving God Just As He Is

Can I accept the God who accepts me?
Loving God Just As He Is

Casey Kasem's American Top 40 blared from the radio. Hugging my pillow tight, I swayed across the kitchen floor, eyes closed, singing:

I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.

Billy Joel's lyrics took me beyond the embarrassment of my parents laughing at my flat-footed steps and off-key notes. The melody lifted me out of the loneliness of the dance itself: A pillow couldn't substitute for all the boys who'd never asked me for a dance at any of our high school dances or house parties. I wanted someone to sing those words to me. More, I wanted to sing those words to someone. Anyone.

More than 1,000 Sunday morning worship services later, I realize I have been singing Billy Joel's words to someone. They've been the subtext to hymns I've sung week after week—I Love You, Lord, Better Is One Day, Immortal Invisible. I wonder though if I really love the triune God—the great I Am Who I Am—just the way he is. I know I love who I'd like to think he is: the tender high-school boyfriend, emotive father, and dragon-slaying prince I've never had.

I Am Who I Am challenged Moses to exodus with nothing more than the bald sufficiency of who he is and always will be (Exodus 3:14).

I Am Who I Am declared to Isaiah, "Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).

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Renee James

Renee James is a regular contributor for TCW, Leadership Journal, and the Gifted for Leadership blog. She lives in Toronto, Canada, and is the communications director for Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec. She blogs infrequently at ReneeJames.org.

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God's Character; God's Love; Relationship with God; Worship
Today's Christian Woman, January/February , 2012
Posted January 1, 2012

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