For many of us in recovery, memories of childhood are mem­ories of the terrors associated with being powerless. If we were raised in families that were out of control, where we were neglected, abused, or exposed to domestic violence and family dysfunction, the thought of being powerless might be unreasonably frightening. We may have silently vowed never again to feel as vulnerable as we did when we were children.

Jesus tells us that the first step into the Kingdom of God is to become like a little child, and this involves being powerless. He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).

In any society, children are the most dependent members. They have no inherent power for self-protection; no means to ensure that their lives will be safe, comfortable, or fulfilling. Little children are singularly reliant on the love, care, and nurture of ­others for their most basic needs. They must cry out even though they may not know exactly what they need. They must trust their lives to someone who is more powerful than they, and hopefully, they will be heard and lovingly cared for.

We, too, must dare to admit that we are truly powerless if our lives are to become healthy. This doesn’t mean we have to become victims again. Admitting our powerlessness is an honest appraisal of our situation in life and a positive step toward recovery.

Discovering our powerlessness is the first step toward wholeness.

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.