“Waves of His Affection”

When we are in great pain and restlessness, when we walk
through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life . . .
when, year after year, the longed-for perfection does not appear,
when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades,
when despair destroys all joy and courage.
 
Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying:
 
”You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you . . . Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.” —Paul Tillich (adaptation)
 
For the past 17 years, St. George Island has been a yearly respite for us. Although we sometimes use it as a place for us to get away and write, it mainly is where we go to just decompress and rest. Lots of sleeping. Lots of good food. Lots of long walks on the beach. Lots of ball playing with our border collie, Grace. Many novels get read cover to cover. Many hours are spent staring at the waves, spell-bound by their rhythm, mesmerized by their endless slap upon the shore. This last one—the waves—are what really captured me (Denise) this year.

It started a few weeks prior to our arrival. We were listening to a new release from Jonathan David Helser, and his song, Endless Ocean, captured me. If there ever was a time to just lie down and let God wash over me, it was this year. This year was especially difficult, with many losses, especially the loss of my dad. Along with those losses were disappointments, hope-deferred, loneliness, and a sense of abandonment from God. This year, the song Endless Ocean was my means to surrender once again and let His love wash over me.

But, it wasn’t exactly His love that began capturing me, it was His AFFECTION. The chorus repeats over and over,

“You are an endless ocean, bottomless sea.
There’s no end to the affection you have for me.”

And as I was sitting on the beach, watching the waves keep coming and coming and coming . . . as one would end as a gentle touch on the beach, another several feet out would rise up—and another—and then another. And with every wave coming toward me, I could hear the words of the Father—“There is no end to the affection I have for you.” It still keeps coming. It keeps forming. It keeps reaching out to me on the shore. All I can see on the horizon are more waves. Endless. Never stopping. Never ending. Unfathomable. He is drawing me—inviting me—to embrace His affection for me, even on my worst day. Even when the heavens are brass, even when life makes no sense, even when I give up—even then, there is no end to the affection He has for me.

Upon leaving the island, I will still have unanswered questions. I will still have my wrestlings with God over life and love and hurt and darkness and death. But I am choosing to relax in His affection—affection that will never wane. Not now. Not ever. An endless ocean of affection. A bottomless sea of His love.

Just relax in His mystery. Just rest. Another wave is on its way
. . . and look, there’s another . . . and another . . . and another. Just relax and rest in Him.

PRAYER:  Read this prayer either out loud or in a whisper to yourself:

I am accepted. I am accepted. I am accepted by You who is greater than me. I will not try to do anything now. I will not seek for anything, or perform anything, or intend anything. I simply accept the fact that I am accepted by You, Father. And right now, experiencing that grace and resting in You is enough. Amen.

(Taken from our latest book, “Loving God, Loving Myself”).

——————

To learn about and to purchase Jerry and Denise’s books, Loving God, Loving Myself,  The Missing Commandment: Love Yourselfand related resources, click on the titles to go to Amazon.com or go to jerryanddenisebasel.com.

If you or someone you know is in need of finding a safe place for emotional and/or spiritual healing and restoration, please contact us at The Father’s Heart Intensive Christian Counseling Ministry through our web site at www.fathersheart.com or email us directly at fathersheartmin@gmail.com. We are located in the North Georgia Mountains in a retreat-oriented environment and have established opportunities for ministry to individuals or couples for periods of two to five-days in length.

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