Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
“…And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son…” -Luke 15:20 NLT

When we think about recovery, we might be tempted to think about someone else. It’s easy to do when the struggle someone else has is not one with which you can identify. However, when we point our finger at someone else we often fail to look in the mirror. When we see ourselves as God sees us, we are looking at someone in recovery. 

Recovery is a word that is often used for specific groups that are working at overcoming specific addictions and troubles. Although that is an appropriate use of the word, we would do well to recognize that we are all in recovery from something.

Our own weaknesses, the aggression and abuse of others, the presence of sin, and the availability of substances that we can easily become dependent upon are all pixels in the picture of the need for recovery.

In Luke 15 there are three parables about the lost being found. Perhaps one of the most impactful stories on our heart is the story of the lost son. There are two lost sons in that parable. One actually went away and wasted everything he had. One stayed home and had no gratitude for the blessings in which he lived. The one we call ‘prodigal’ decided to come home. Charles Hodge used to have a popular sermon called, “Will God Run?”. The answer is yes! God ran to meet his son, “filled with love and compassion.” 

The reason that story touches our hearts so much is that we identify with that prodigal in so many ways. He thought that because of his own sin and failure the father would not receive him back as a son. He was so wrong. He recovered his place as a beloved son when he returned home. 

Each September the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services ( observes Recovery month. That seems to me to be a good time to recognize the place of recovery in the work of Jesus through the church. Their theme this year is: Every Person. Every Family. Every Community.  

Every person is in recovery from something. 

Every family has someone to love and help through recovery.

Every community has both strugglers and the helpers.

No community, home, person is immune from the effects of addiction, abuse and the need to overcome the shame associated with personal struggle.

“Recovery-minded churches are prodigal churches … they celebrate God’s mission of healing and restoration in this world, because that’s what the prodigal God is all about – and because that’s where the joy, laughter and life are. So recovery-minded churches are those busy hanging ‘Welcome Home’ signs and stringing up balloons, or manning the grill while picking out dance tunes. They’re the communities that wayward children know they can go to and be received with open arms, regardless of where they’ve been.”

– Jonathan Benz, The Recovery-Minded Church

Forsythe is a recovery-minded church. We welcome recovery groups in our building every day of the week. That includes Sunday. The day you’re here. You’ve come to be welcomed and loved by your Father. And this month we will be focused on recovery. 

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for the insights and the revelations you have. Me too i’ve been lost many times and having troubles in recovery. I know and believe that as long as i will set my mind in having faith and believe that God will help me recover.

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