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

lrd-the-paradox-of-powerlessnessWe may be afraid to admit that we are powerless and that our lives are unmanageable. If we admit that we are powerless, won’t we be tempted to give up completely in the struggle against our addiction? It doesn’t seem to make sense that we can admit powerlessness and still find the power to go on. This paradox will be dealt with as we go on to Steps Two and Three.

Life is full of paradoxes. The apostle Paul tells us, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair” (2 Corinthians 4:7-8).

The picture here presents a contrast between a precious treasure and the simple clay jar in which the treasure is stored. The living power poured into our lives from above is the treasure. Our human lives, with all the everyday pressures and problems, are represented by the clay jar, an earthen container. As human beings, we have inherent weaknesses.

Once we recognize the paradox of powerlessness it can be quite a relief. We don’t have to always be strong or pretend to be perfect. We can live a real life, with daily struggles, in a human body beset with weakness, and still find the power from above to keep going without being crushed and broken.

Our powerlessness displays the magnificent power of God.

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.