Jonathan David Helser’s song “Abba” has powerfully impacted my life since I first heard it several months ago. The line “Abba I belong to you” cannot be placed within the realm of simple, and yet this is the only word I know to describe this phrase in the midst of the profound depth of truly knowing that I belong to Abba. “Abba I belong to you” holds so much assurance, love, acceptance, security and rest where I know that I am embraced by my Father. For much of my life I have not known unconditional and unfailing love that dares to pursue me all of my life and in every corner of my heart. In my nakedness, with little to hide my raw vulnerability, I hear the Father continually declare “you are mine”. My senses are overwhelmed and undone experiencing the creator of the universe calling out “Abba” from within me, that I may know I am His beloved one.
As this song is ending, Jonathan David Helser sings the word “Abba” one last time, in what sounded like a gasp from a deep well within. This resonated with me as I was listening. In the midst of what felt like dreams evaporating, life falling apart, and internally feeling undone, I sensed Father God saying “son, gasping out Abba is enough” An overwhelming rush of my Father’s delight enveloped my senses, realizing Father God’s thrill in me running to him as the small scared child I am- all summed up in my cry “Abba”. Out of this moment I wrote the devotion below.
“My beloved I know there are times when all you are able to do is call out “Abba”. When children are frightened and scared they call out “dad!” or “mom!” because there is emotional safety in that intimate relationship early on. This is the way I have wired things between parents and children. I too desire that you know and experience this intimacy and emotional safety with me your Father. My desire will always be for you to know that you are my beloved child. I am calling you to learn to be a little child again with me, where you are able to cry out “Abba” when you are frightened. Maybe the cry “Abba” is a whisper deep within your heart; unspoken, unrealized. Maybe “Abba” is a faint desperate cry, filled with overwhelming sadness, pain, loss, and fear; when no other words seem available. That is enough. I hear you.”
~ “And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying “Abba, Father!” ~ Galatians 4:6