Second Chances

Second Chances

Second Chances

November 7, 2019

Every moment of your life is a second chance.Rick Price

Years ago I heard a story about a young pastor. As he geared up to preach his first sermon, nervous excitement coursed through his veins. Finally, the moment arrived. Facing his audience, he suddenly froze. His carefully crafted sermon faded into the recesses of his mind. Struggling to speak, he managed at last to squeak out his first word… an expletive! 

To this day I can’t help but chuckle when I remember this story. Fortunately, the young man continued to work on his preaching skills and eventually became a very effective pastor. I imagine he now laughs at the memory of what must have been a painful experience.

His story illustrates for me an extraordinary gift. In life we don’t get do-overs, but we do get second chances. 

Believers often mark our second chance with the decision to follow Christ. I know I do. On that day, He gave me a second chance to live the life I always wanted. But second chances characterize my conversion in even more ways.

In an earlier blog post I shared how Nancy, a coworker, lived out her faith in front of my skeptical eyes. Her constant and irrepressible joy intrigued me. When she shared how her joy sprang from her relationship with Jesus, I began earnestly seeking Him.

But there is more to the story.

When I first asked Nancy how she could be so joyful all the time, she brushed me off. “Oh,” she quipped, “you just can’t let things bother you.” Remorse filled her heart, because she knew she had blown a perfect opportunity. 

A few days later, she shamefacedly approached me and apologized. I honestly had never seen her like this. Explaining she had not been truthful, she clarified the source of her joy. Then I agreed to visit her church. This became my first step on the road less traveled, and I will be eternally grateful.

Nancy exhibited a godly lifestyle, but not a perfect one. When she failed, she took the opportunity to right the wrong by seizing a second chance to witness to me. Her courage and obedience continue to inspire me.

All of us will blow opportunities. What we do afterwards shape our characters and affect the people around us. Because of Nancy’s repentance, she became a stronger witness and I became a Christian. She perfectly illustrated the following Scripture:

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8 NIV)

Walking away from a failed opportunity feels natural and easy. But if we do, we forfeit the fruit of our repentance. 

Over the years, I have come to appreciate the value of second chances. Fortunately:

God not only grants second chances, He graciously multiplies them.

As I travel down the road, I pray for the courage to act on the second chances He provides. Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

Second Chances

November 7, 2019

Second Chances

Every moment of your life is a second chance.Rick Price

Years ago I heard a story about a young pastor. As he geared up to preach his first sermon, nervous excitement coursed through his veins. Finally, the moment arrived. Facing his audience, he suddenly froze. His carefully crafted sermon faded into the recesses of his mind. Struggling to speak, he managed at last to squeak out his first word… an expletive! 

To this day I can’t help but chuckle when I remember this story. Fortunately, the young man continued to work on his preaching skills and eventually became a very effective pastor. I imagine he now laughs at the memory of what must have been a painful experience.

His story illustrates for me an extraordinary gift. In life we don’t get do-overs, but we do get second chances. 

Believers often mark our second chance with the decision to follow Christ. I know I do. On that day, He gave me a second chance to live the life I always wanted. But second chances characterize my conversion in even more ways.

In an earlier blog post I shared how Nancy, a coworker, lived out her faith in front of my skeptical eyes. Her constant and irrepressible joy intrigued me. When she shared how her joy sprang from her relationship with Jesus, I began earnestly seeking Him.

But there is more to the story.

When I first asked Nancy how she could be so joyful all the time, she brushed me off. “Oh,” she quipped, “you just can’t let things bother you.” Remorse filled her heart, because she knew she had blown a perfect opportunity. 

A few days later, she shamefacedly approached me and apologized. I honestly had never seen her like this. Explaining she had not been truthful, she clarified the source of her joy. Then I agreed to visit her church. This became my first step on the road less traveled, and I will be eternally grateful.

Nancy exhibited a godly lifestyle, but not a perfect one. When she failed, she took the opportunity to right the wrong by seizing a second chance to witness to me. Her courage and obedience continue to inspire me.

All of us will blow opportunities. What we do afterwards shape our characters and affect the people around us. Because of Nancy’s repentance, she became a stronger witness and I became a Christian. She perfectly illustrated the following Scripture:

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8 NIV)

Walking away from a failed opportunity feels natural and easy. But if we do, we forfeit the fruit of our repentance. 

Over the years, I have come to appreciate the value of second chances. Fortunately:

God not only grants second chances, He graciously multiplies them.

As I travel down the road, I pray for the courage to act on the second chances He provides. Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

5 Comments

  1. Charla on November 18, 2019 at 5:56 PM

    What a powerful piece, Shirley😁! “ In life we don’t get do-overs, but we do get second chances. ” So true and am I grateful. I blow it quite often and repentance heals my soul and my relationships. Your “Nancy” was a literal – and authentic – God-send.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on November 18, 2019 at 6:58 PM

      So very true, Charla! It just proves to me how God works through us-despite our flaws and imperfections! Thank you for your encouraging comment. 💕

  2. Angela on November 18, 2019 at 7:19 PM

    OH MY GOSH!! I love this Shirley!!! WOW! I love that she had the courage to go back to you and tell you the true source of JOY! I often think about this same thing and how easy it is to simply say a quick answer rather than pointing someone to the true and only source of all JOY! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on November 18, 2019 at 7:29 PM

      Thank you Angela! Yes, she did come back, and because she did, I am here. Praise God for second chances and the courage to take them!💕

      • Angela on November 18, 2019 at 7:46 PM

        Praising Jesus with you!!!! I’m so thankful He is so faithful!!!!

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