God of Recovery
In that day I will restore David’s fallen shelter – I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins – and will rebuild it as it used to be . . . Amos 9:11 (NIV)
The worst part of my addiction – worse than alienating my family and losing my job – was that I completely abandoned God in pursuit of me. This grieved God, who made me to live in an intensely real, personal relationship with him. Despite my wanderings though, God didn’t abandon me.
No matter how far I ran, he was always right there, with his sovereign hand guiding the consequences that drove me back to him. Just as it was his design and pleasure to make me, it was his purpose to return me to a right relationship with him. Thankfully, he is a God of recovery and restoration.
Amos, in today’s passage, reveals this truth about God. Though much of the book of Amos is spent on calling out Israel’s destructive behavior and predicting the disastrous consequences, at the end of his book, Amos looks forward to the day when God would restore his people to him. In the ultimate act of recovery, God would one day send his son to die so that whoever believes in him, would be saved, returning to a right relationship with him.
This is really the entire message of the Bible, summed up: God made man to live in relationship with him. God loved man and gave him the ability to love him back or not. Man followed himself, abandoning God. God, in his intense love for man, sacrificed himself, becoming man and dying on the cross, in order to recover the lost man.
Recovery and restoration aren’t just for the addict. Christ died for all of us because we all struggle with following our own way. We all need God, who longs to return us to a right relationship with him. Thankfully, our God is a God of recovery, who has gone to tremendous effort to save us from slavery to ourselves. Daily now, it is our job to live in that recovery, abandoning our own way to love and follow the One who saves us.