The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said, “Feed my sheep." John 21:17 NLT
My gut churned, but I had made my decision.
An opportunity to return to a profession I had left opened. I loved what I was doing but always availed myself to God’s plan. I prayed. Everyone wanted me to take the position. So I did.
Immediately, uncertainty became my best friend, but I couldn’t undo the decision I had made. For the next year and a half, misery slept with me. I prayed for God to put me back where I had been. I talked to my previous employer and asked him to put me on the want-to-return list. Months passed. Nothing happened.
Then, one day as I sat at my computer, the phone rang. My old boss’s name appeared on the screen. I quickly answered the phone—not afraid to let my anxiousness show. He asked if I wanted my old position back. A change of staff had occurred. I couldn’t say yes fast enough. God issued me a second chance.
Peter received a second chance also. Jesus had previously taught him about forgiveness by telling him his should be unlimited. Now Peter had denied association with Jesus—swore he didn’t know Him. On the shore—after His resurrection—Jesus offered Peter another chance. Peter took it and became the leader of the early church in Jerusalem.
God loves to give second chances. Sin has taken me down paths numerous times I should have stayed off. But anytime I confessed and repented, God took me back under His wing and gave me more work to do.
God’s second chances and unlimited forgiveness don’t mean I won’t suffer unpleasant consequences. This is part of the learning process. Through God’s discipline, He gently guides me back to the right path. The consequences keep me from wanting to walk those paths again.
When I’m ready to return, God waits with open arms as the father did in Jesus’ story of the prodigal son. Loves drives God to us. He created us to love and for us to love Him. Sin and foolish decisions interrupt the union, but He’s always eager to restore it.
Although God gives many second chances, His doing so doesn’t give me the liberty to live carelessly. My duty is to mirror His thoughts, actions, and principles.
Regardless of how you may have failed God, He waits for you to return. He has work for you to do.
Tweetable: What second chances has God given you?
Prayer: Father, thank You for always giving us another chance when we fail to live up to Your standards.