Second Chance Explained
I love family dramas and just finished watching the final episode of Chesapeake Shores on Netflix. The drama about a family of 7, parents and children together, their growth, life and stories, made an interesting watch. The series gives an insight into impact of the parents’ divorce on the children, backtracing from past childhood to forwarding in present adult life. To the surprise of all, the man/father of the family, a workaholic, the reason for the separation, steps back from his company and plans a trip abroad with his wife. When questioned whether he was comfortable to step back from work, he replies he is lucky to have the second chance. He is grateful for it, and though scared at restarting the marriage, determined to prioritize to make it work. This is what endeared the series to me – family matters and reconciliation, and recognition of a second chance!
Second chances are our hope at redemption of missed opportunities and our attempt at rectifying past mistakes. Second chances give us a shot at recovering lost instances and a time at reconciling relationships. Second chances in life help us make up for lost time and regain lost ground. Second chances enable us to rub out the erstwhile errors by correcting in the present, be it attitude or behavior. Second chances permit restitution for commissions and facilitate redressal of omissions. Second chances are the bread and butter of life, and so be careful not to miss them!
Second Chance and Scripture
The Bible is full of instances and incidents of second chances given to people, especially by God. Take the case of Abraham who made the mistake of getting a son because of his own or rather his wife’s interpretation of God’s promise to them. Or of Jacob who wheedled the birthright from his brother and herds from his uncle; or of Rebecca the blessing from her husband Isaac, through their own ingenuity and cunningness; or of David who usurped another man’s wife; or of Peter who denied Jesus, or of other disciples who ran away in the time of His need; not to mention Saul of Tarsus and John Mark. These all got the second chance and made use of them to catch up on the right attitude and focus!
The Scriptures also show those who were given second chances, but they either did not recognize and thus missed them or did not use them the right way because of a lack of understanding. Among these you can find, Lot who still went his own way even after being rescued from captivity by his uncle; or King Saul who was given multiple instances to wholeheartedly follow God but totally messed each one up; or Judas iscariot who didn’t recognize his chance to repent and turned to suicide; or Demas who lost it totally and went off after the things if this world. Each of these were given one or many chances, but did not utilize the second chance offered to them. Instead, they each either went their own way or neglected it, paying a heavy price for it!
How Not To Miss Second Chances
To not miss second chances, we must
- RECOGNIZE THEM: Most often than not, people lack the acumen to note when their second chance comes around. As a result, they go past them blindly, not noting or understanding the opportunity that is staring them in the face!
- REALIZE THE TIMES & SEASONS: Most people are unaware of the patterns emerging and existing in their lives, and so, often miss their second chances. In the Psalm of Moses (Ps 90), since lifespan for people is only 70 or 80 years, the writer petitions God “Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well!” The tribe of Issachar in Israel were men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do; ( 1 Chronicles 12:32 NIV). Knowing your life cycles and personal motifs will help you enable you to identify when a second chance comes your way and which or what it is!
- READY TO RESET: Once you have recognized and deciohered your second chance and what is happening in which area, you must have the mindset to accept and initiate change. If you don’t avail the opportunity to reset, the second chance would be wasted and there may not be a third chance to rectify, even if you long for it!
- REFORM & REALIGN: Without doubt second chances come to set you right or clean up your past, or restore a debt, or reconcile a relationship or reform your conduct. Due to this, second chances may often involve some pain or a cost that hurts. Yet it must be grasped and grabbed at, for it will be worth the effort. The freedom that comes with using second chances wisely and unconditionally will set you free to be yourself and to fly high!
- RECOGNIZE THE RESOURCES: Second chances do not come unaccompanied, but with an addendum – strength and other aids. All that is needed for positive or negative revamp, will be given or made available to you. Identify and refurbish yourself with these to effect change so as to be prepared and poised for the next season!
The Mercy and Grace of God
I have been lately realizing how much our God, the God of the Bible, delights in giving second chances to all and sundry. He sees the longings of our heart, especially those that relate to reconciliation and people or pertain to character and change, grant us another chance. Things we are ardently praying about or seeking a chance to rectify or wishing we could have done better or seeking reconciliation or restitution, or even forgotten about, He takes care to give opportunities for such things to take place.
I see that our God is the God of mercy, Who desires our change. He simply goes out of the way to provide opportunities and chance encounters. He works all things together so that we may be benefitted from them. He sees our heart and grants us asylum in His prodigious grace, always seeking to set us free.
His desire is that we do the same for others, just as He does for us!
God gave human beings the greatest second chance of all times when He sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross for us so that we could be reconciled to Him and be His kids!
He also sent the Holy Spirit to live within us and with us on earth, being our Comforter and Counsellor, our Guide and ever present Companion!
May we, therefore, be not only people who enjoy second chances, but also those who give to others!
Thus, we would be the children of Him Who Who causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45 NIV)!