This last week, I've had the opportunity to watch a couple of little boys playing with an etch-a sketch. It was fascinating to hear them, as they were trying hard to draw something, which I could never quite figure out. They would work together, then one of them, would take it away from the other and try to do it by himself, and finally the other one would get mad, grab it from the other one, and shake it. It brought back many many memories. As a child, we all remember playing with Etch-A-Sketch toys. We would turn the knobs to draw our pictures, making the most entertaining artwork, but when we wanted to start a new drawing, we could simply turn the toy upside-down, shake it up, and have a clean slate to start again! My friend, God is like that with us. Sometimes we get turned around and shaken up a bit, but He is the God of second chances!
In the Bible, there are several examples of those who needed another chance:
The great apostle Paul was responsible for arresting and murdering Christians before his Damascus Road experience. He was among those at the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
Israel’s King David, called a man after God’s own heart, committed adultery with Bathsheeba.
Peter denied knowing Christ three times, even after he had the revelation of who Jesus was.
However, God showed mercy toward those in the Bible. He didn’t want them to miss their heavenly purpose. He gave them a second chance! I am so thankful for those second and third, and fourth chances.
I think of the times in my life when God and I would be working together on a picture, and I would get frustrated and take it away from God's hands and try to do it myself. I am not saying that God was the second child, who got mad - took it away from the other one - and shook it up, but God is the one who patiently waits for us, watching us get frustrated, and when we have finally had enough - we take it back to Him and He "shakes it up" and gives us a clean slate once again. I'm thankful for friends who give second chances, and I hope that in this very vivid illustration this last week, that I will be quicker to be willing to wipe the slate clean and give second chances to those around me, who prove to be human.
Thank you Lord, for second chances. Thank you for reminding me that there will never be third and fourth chances, but only second chances - because as we come to You, You are willing to forgive and forget, so it will always be a second chance. Help me to become more like You!
Walking with the King, Sandy