Meditations on the Twelve Steps

Recovery: It's a God Thing
Monday August 03, 2015

by Teresa McBean

Scripture Reading for today: Jeremiah 28; 1 Samuel 1

Oh, my gosh! If you are reading along, we are in for a real ride in this section. Soap operas are written with less drama than we’re about to vicariously experience as we read the Samuels. Harry Potter’s adventures are child’s play compared to the saga of King Saul and David. When I prepare to re-read 1 Samuel, I think about severed relationships. I think about how even the sweetest of loves can turn sour in a moment’s notice. I think about the sorrow of banishment.

Do you walk around with a knot in your stomach? Are you prone to anxiety attacks? Are you fretful? Do you have some relationships that are so painful you try to avoid the people involved? Do you struggle to sleep at night–your mind racing, replaying the “should’ves” and the “would’ves” if only you “could’ves?” Are you embarrassed by how you’ve mishandled a relationship?

It seems to me that all broken relationships carry with them a side order of banishment. Banishment is a terrible thing. Avoiding or being avoided happens when we make a relationship “boo boo” and don’t have the skill set to go back and figure out how to repair and restore the rift that our harming caused.

“…But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.” 2 Samuel 14:14 NIV

As a people commanded to love God, others, and self we are not created to live easily with banishment. We are created to carry within our hearts a huge capacity to receive and to give love. One of our primary purposes for existing is to dispense this love with boundless enthusiasm and generosity of spirit. 2 Samuel 14 reminds us that God does not take away the inevitable bumps in the road of relating one to another, but neither does He leave us without resources for renewal. I pray that you will be encouraged to know that a season of banishment does not necessarily mean a life of estrangement.