It was a time of deep confusion and pain in my life. My family and I were “out of the game.” I had left a ministry position with a great feeling of failure and regret, wondering if we would ever return. We were down and out, living with family and trying to figure out which way was up. I was doing odd jobs and painting houses. I remember clearly, standing on a ladder listening to a radio interview with an “Angel Investor.” He was a big money guy who invests in new tech start-up companies. He just kept saying that the best people to invest in are people that have already failed and are starting again. I thought that seemed a little counter-intuitive. He insisted that giving second chances to people who were on the “come back” was the best bet. He had seen it again and again.
This was the beginning of God’s work to soften my hard, bitter and broken heart to His purposes. Was He still willing to invest in me? Was He still willing to forgive me? I felt like the only one who had ever failed this big.
Later in that same season I sat at breakfast with a gathering of older retired gentleman. Each of these men was someone I respected and honored as a man of accomplishment and great faith. And to the man, each went around the table and talked of their “big failure” and how God had given them a second chance (and a third and fourth). They talked also of the people in their lives who had forgiven and bet on them again. The list of wives, bosses, partners and children was breathtaking.
This is the gospel: that while we were dead in our sins, Christ died for
us. While we are out of the game, God is still pursuing. While Jonah was down and out in the belly of the whale, nothing was out of God’s control. He was still composing a story that would include second chances for Nineveh and Jonah. He is still writing His grace and patience onto your life story too.
~ Pastor Brad
Come and encounter Christ as we look at God’s second chances this Sunday as Pastor Brad preaches on Jonah 3:1-10