Blog written by Mike Verkaik:
This past Saturday I received a call from a friend. She was concerned for her neighbor who was struggling with the journey of life. He was hopeless and contemplating destructive decisions as his life spun out of his control, so she asked if I could come over.
After a drive of interceding and asking Abba for words and wisdom I pulled into the driveway. Waiting outside was my friend and Denny*. We began to talk immediately and he shared his unique life’s story of brokenness. Although it was unique, in many ways it was similar to so many other stories I have heard since joining in the work of Oceans Ministries. He had lost his father when he was 14, and has only memories of an absent father who did not show much love to him. As he put it, I guess I have a lot of “daddy issues”.
As I began to express his Abba Father’s love for him, he quickly interrupted me. “I have made too many mistakes for Him to still love me”, he said. Denny was caught up in the lie that he had messed up too much to be worthy of the Father’s love for him. Oh the battle each of us face each day against our adversary’s desire to spread that lie in the midst of our shortcomings and sin.
I felt the prompting to ask Denny if he had ever accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He had a beautiful testimony of his encounter with Jesus, the acceptance of Him as his Savior, and the desire to be baptized as a sign of rededication. Denny went on to say what an amazing day it was and how he felt so close to God. However, things had changed through a painful divorce and a wayward life of shame and decisions that led him away from that feeling of closeness.
At that point I reached my hand out and pointed towards his chest, reiterating the presence of Christ in him and the promise of Ephesians 3:13-14
When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
With tears flowing down his face, and a humble and contrite heart he looked at me and said, “ I guess I was a horrible roommate.” Surprised, I laughed and said, “Yes, I guess you have, but so have I, time and time again.”
What great insight Denny gave me that night into David’s words from Psalm 51:17.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
As we seek to restore our relationship with Him, there is our good, good Father with waiting for us with unconditional love, mercy and grace; already desiring to begin restoration, and cleanse us from all our guilt and shame.
*Name was changed.