The visuals of this word are heartbreaking and tear jerking. It’s not just a hurt, it’s a terrible moment of weakness where your body feels like it may never be the same and you may never crawl out of your room again. And honestly, you’re not sure you want to.
This phrase, however, is refreshing. It’s renewing and rejuvenating. It’s rising out of bed and seeing the sunrise as a new chance. It’s pushing forward with an understanding that God does have wonderful and beautiful plans for you, sweet daughter.
But have you embraced second chances with a full and welcoming and humble heart?
Recently, I’ve had multiple conversations with multiple people discussing this very issue and it has had me thinking about what God says about second chances. Wow, does he have a lot to say. He has DONE so much for his children to have those second chances. Those refreshing, renewing, and rejuvenating moments.
When I taught preschool, I learned to be a giver of second chances (and third and fourth and fifth). I learned through those two and three year old that second chances gave confidence, encouragement, and a sense of self esteem as if someone else believed in them even in times their Play-Doh turkey didn’t turn out quite like they wanted to the first time.
In high school, I watched as people’s personalities changed to fit the mold of those around them and what magazines and reality tv portrayed as the norm. It was heartbreaking. I lost some of my best friends, some by choice and some by distance that grew over time. On the other side of that spectrum, I saw friends of mine come back to Jesus. I hugged them as they broke down in tears because the world and Satan’s sly ways had broken them.
Then Satan got me. I was broken…in a world of depression, self denial, selfishness, anxiety, and ongoing belittling of myself and my worth. I made terrible decisions, and became someone I never thought I would be.
But I found my God again. Just like I had heard many times before, it wasn’t God that went anywhere. I was the one hiding, but I was never seeking. God knew where I was the entire time, but I wouldn’t accept it. I distracting myself from the God who would protect me by covering myself in the darkness surrounding me. Thank God I opened my eyes and found my Savior and my Seeker and my Protector once again.
I don’t know where you are in your walk, but the phases of life comes to us at different angles and at different phases. You may have seen more heartache than I can even imagine, still trying to figure out life, going through a break up, a divorce, and rough spot in marriage, a loss of a job. You may have thought at times that your life isn’t worth living and even thought of ending it. The list is ongoing and devastating, but only if you allow it to overtake you.
Our walk in life is unpredictable, but our eternity can be guaranteed. What great joy and hope that should give us!
THAT is the ultimate second chance.
Peter was so loyal to Christ. He jumped at the chance to defend Him in the garden when the guards came to take Him. He followed closely and listened to Christ’s teachings. He promised Christ that he would lose his life before denying Him.
But then fear broke him.
He was scared for his life, and rightfully so, but it led him to betrayal that spiraled into the changing of his personality for that instant. As we see in Matthew 26, in just moments, Peter not only denied his friend and Savior, he cursed and swore that he did not know him.
He was broken and he wept. Bitterly.
Fast forward to after Christ was crucified and the tomb was found empty. Peter hadn’t seen Him yet, but you know the guilt was deep in his heart. Then, as he was out on a boat one day, he saw Him. His guilt must have been unbearable, but his joy for a second chance led him to JUMPING out of the boat and swimming to shore (John 21:7).
I visualize Peter coming out of the water, sopping wet, possibly feeling silly for his initial reaction as maybe the boat beat him to shore. It’s a humorous picture really, but the determination behind the simple action is beautiful.
And it was there, on that shore, where Jesus asked Peter, as he stood dripping water into the sand, if he loved him. Peter said yes. Jesus asked again. Peter said yes again. Jesus asked a final time. Peter, probably flashing back to his denial sighed in deep regret and desperate for acceptance and forgiveness.
He said yes a third time.
And Peter went on and followed Christ’s instructions to feed his sheep.
Second chances are beautiful. Whether it takes being completely broken or maybe you notice the cracks starting peek through. Catch it if you can and piece it back together with the help of the one who created the universe. If you are completely broken and struggling to crawl back… Allow the Potter to mold you and shape you into something beautiful and wonderful and worthy! Because you are!