We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies and that our lives had become unmanageable.

For those of us raised in chaotic situations our response may be to try to maintain control of something . . . anything! We may become rigid and controlling of our children, or insist on having control in our homes or work relationships. Perhaps we focus on our eating habits or develop rituals for living that give us the feeling of being in control of our own lives.

King Solomon tells us, “Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life. I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people. . . . For there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble. Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen?” (Ecclesiastes 7:14-15; 8:6-7).

It’s understandable that we would want to develop a security system to protect our lives in response to our past powerlessness and the pain it brought. Maintaining control can serve to make us feel safer in an uncertain world. However, it can also pose a trap for us, if we must always have control in order to cope. We need to balance our understanding of life to realize that life is uncertain. We will not always be in situations where we have the power and control we need to make us feel safe. This balance can keep us on track, even when an unexpected loss of power occurs.

If we must always be in control, we’re out of control.

Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.