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

lrd-no-win-situationsSometimes we are powerless because of our station in life. We may be in a situation where other people have power over our lives. We may feel that we’re trapped by the demands of others, and that there’s no way to please them all. It’s a double bind: to please one is to disappoint another. Sometimes when we feel stuck and frustrated with our relationships, we look for a measure of control by escaping through our addictive behaviors.

Hagar is a picture of powerlessness. She had no rights. As a girl, she was a slave to Sarai and Abram. When they were upset because Sarai could not bear children, she was given to Abram as a surrogate. When she did become pregnant, as they had wanted, Sarai was so jealous that she beat the girl and she ran away. All alone, out in the wilderness, she was met by an angel who told her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority. . . . I will give you more descendants than you can count. . . . You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress” (Genesis 16:9-11).

When we are caught in no-win situations, it’s tempting to run away through our addictive/compulsive escape hatches. At times like these, God is there and he is listening to our woes. We need to learn to express our pain to God, instead of just trying to escape. He hears our woes and is willing to give us hope for the future.

It is wise to turn and face our problems, accepting God’s promise of help.

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.