Second Chances

Something happened a few months ago…

I was driving down a busy street near my home when I saw an older gentleman doing something illegal and incredibly dangerous. Shocked, I couldn’t decide what to do and started to panic. My son was telling me I should call 911, but I wasn’t really sure. My justification of “By the time the police arrive, the man will be long gone,” sounded like a poor excuse for inaction. 

Still shaken and second-guessing myself, I called my #1 sounding board (aka my husband) and explained what happened. He immediately told me that I should have called the police. Ouch! That made me feel so much worse, but even then I was grateful for his honesty. We should all have at least one person who will always give us the straight-up truth in our lives (lovingly, of course!)

In my young adulthood, I had witnessed another dangerous situation that I decided not to do anything about. The end result was that someone got injured and could have potentially lost his life. On that day, I vowed I would never hesitate again to do something if it might save someone from a dangerous situation. 

For the most part, I feel like I have lived up to that promise. You can imagine how ashamed I felt that I completely blew it!! And in front of my son, too! Devastated, I had a difficulty shaking my feelings of guilt. When we arrived at our planned activity, I spent some time in the car praying and repenting. 

But here is where my story becomes really interesting…

Six hours later, we started on our way home. We had only driven two blocks when I saw the SAME man doing the SAME thing, SEVEN miles away from where I had saw him earlier! Of course, I immediately called 911 and gave them all the pertinent details. 

I am blown away by what happened! It would completely self-centered to say that God orchestrated this situation just for me to redeem myself, but I sure am thankful that I had the chance to do so. I hope that the police were able to find and get this man the help that he needs. 

How so like God to give us the opportunity to repent and do things differently! From Jonah in the Old Testament to Peter in the New Testament, the Bible is full of stories of when He gave people second chances to respond in better way – in obedience. And the good news is that He is still in the business of giving second chances today!

Please do not mistake what I am saying…we will not always have the chance for a “do-over” in the same situation. But when we blow it, we have the opportunity to repent and be forgiven! The Lord is so merciful. He doesn’t want to wallow in our sin, shame , and regret. He wants to restore us! 

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It is through Jesus’ death and resurrection that we are forgiven and  no longer bear the guilt of our sin. In order to receive this forgiveness, we must accept Him as our Lord and Savior. If you haven’t done this, my friend, now is the time! Do not delay…this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

-Jenn Wise

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