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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Second Chances

One day long ago, God's Word came to Jonah, Amittai's son: "Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They're in a bad way and I can't ignore it any longer." (Jonah 1:1 The Msg)

A nineteen-year-old college girl sits in an auditorium with a bunch of teenagers listening. As the band plays and those around her get lost in worship, God speaks to her heart.

There is a place on that stage for you.

Years go by. The college girl is now a young mother. The mother gets lost in a sea of diapers, applesauce and Legos. What ifs dominate her thoughts threatening to steal her happiness on many occasions. She spends deep moments pondering her ability to hear God’s voice at all and wonders if she’s finally gone one decision too far on her own. Maybe she lives outside grace even though her heart fully belongs to God. There are promises God speaks of that don’t seem to be working themselves out in her life so she decides a life with God is devoid of dreams. She settles.

More years pass. The young mother begins to feel the sting of years. Desires long buried rise to the surface of her life. Her mind no longer steeled to once unwelcome thoughts, she now longs to learn from past experience. She once again finds herself in an auditorium, this time filled with women instead of teenagers. As the speaker invites those around her to believe, God speaks to her heart.

There is a place on that stage for you.

Unmistakable. The voice from so many years ago invites her to explore the private places in her heart. She wonders how she could have ever seen the invitation as an accusation of failure. She closes her eyes, opens her heart and whispers yes. At once the dark places fill with color. The dormant places fill with life. She sees grace at every turn, experiences hope around each corner.

Even though the details are unclear, she sees clearly. She dares to hold on to Jesus. The best is yet to come. God will make a way. She knows this now. 

I’ve been reading through Jonah this week in preparation for the study I begin today. My group starts Priscilla Shirer’s Jonah. I realize sometimes running from God isn’t as clear-cut as Jonah makes it seem.

“He paid the fare and went on board, joining those going to Tarshish—as far away from God as he could get.” Jonah 1:3 The Msg

Today’s encouragement from Jonah reminds me that just as God repeats Himself in grace for Jonah, that’s exactly what He does for me. Praise God for second chances!

Next, God spoke to Jonah a second time: "Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They're in a bad way and I can't ignore it any longer." (Jonah 3:1-2)

Have you heard God's voice and quit believing anywhere in your life? Accept His second chance of grace today. Dare to hold on to Jesus; dare to never give up.  It's not too late!

"But where sin increased, grace increased all the more." (Romans 5:20 NIV)


Denise said...

Amen sis, love you.

Nana's Nuggets said...

Hi! Lisa, Wow! I love this post today! Your title caught my eye this morning, as I finished my post a bit ago!, because I was praising God in my own thoughts for the second chances!! I Love the Holy Spirit!! Thanks for sharing and re-inforcing my spirit today!!

Heart2Heart said...


What a powerful post along with a very true to life story for some. I know, I have been there through various seasons of my life and spiritual walk and thankfully it's so good when you finally make the decision to follow Him. Who better than to lead the way in our lives towards home?!!!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm currently facilitating this study with a small group. It's been hard to navigate the interrupted life with the responsibility of leading, but it's been worth it!

Praying for you as you head to scans in the near future.