Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lord of the second chance

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Isaiah 38, 39; Psalm 107

Isaiah 38:15-17 (NIV)

15 But what can I say? He has spoken to me, and He himself has done this. I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul. 16 Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live. 17 Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.

Good morning!

Second chances are wonderful gifts. I’ve been the beneficiary of a second chance, and I have some affinity with what King Hezekiah might have felt the day the Lord answered his prayer for a healing miracle.

When I was learning how to play tennis in high school, it took lots of practice and many “do-overs” for me to learn how to serve the ball properly. It would take several practice serves on my part before the ball would fly over the net and into the other player’s return space. I experienced a lot of net serves. Sometimes, I could get the ball over the net but it did not land in the proper location – I either overshot the court, or it would land in foul territory. Many times, my service attempts were unintentional errors. Other times, especially when I was getting frustrated or angry, those foiled service attempts were a direct result of my frustration and angst.

I had a tennis instructor who was determined to teach me how to serve and return the ball properly. He saw some potential in my ability, and never gave up on me. One day, as he was teaching me how to take the offensive on a return serve, he pointed to a spot near the net and simply said, “Stand here.” So I did. When the instructor served the ball to me, it hit me smack dab in the forehead. I didn’t move, I didn’t flinch, and I did not try to block the ball with my racket. I just stood there. He came running over and asked me if I was okay. I shook my head yes, and when he asked me why I didn’t block the ball, I said, “You didn’t tell me to!” I sported a goose egg on my noggin for a week. Sometimes when life deals us a series of blows, we get stuck just standing there and forget how to defend ourselves. Have you ever experienced a frozen moment of the soul? Has it left you scarred for life?

We may experience a time of exhilaration, when we feel completely self-assured. We think we have solved all of life’s issues and can handle whatever happens to us. We think we are in charge, until suddenly, we find ourselves standing in unfamiliar territory. What is like to sit in the doctor’s office, waiting to hear the results of a CT scan that will determine whether or not your cancer has returned? What kind of prayer does one pray, begging God to give them just one more day, one more chance to live life healthy and whole again?

None of us are immune from the possibility of contracting cancer at some point in our life. Some may experience the physical cancers that attack our bodies and shift the way we live out our days, for better or worse. I hope you never experience cancer in your body. Yet, all of us are susceptible to the cancer of sin. It is no respecter of age or race. At some point along the road, we will realize we’ve messed up, taken a wrong turn, and lost our way. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we recognize our need to ask God for a second chance, a do-over; an opportunity to make it right once again. Just like Hezekiah, we know we are dying and short of a miracle from God, there is nothing that can save us.

If you find yourself needing a second chance today, I have good news for you! There is a Savior who came just to give people like you and me a fresh start, a second chance, an opportunity to receive abundant and everlasting life. His name is Jesus. He is the Son of the Living God. We can run to Him with the cancer destroying the life we’ve been given. He alone has the power to heal, restore, and redeem. Jesus is the Lord of the second chance, and if you are in need of a second chance today, He is waiting with open arms for you to come.

This is a great day to begin again. God heard Hezekiah’s prayer and restored his life. Jesus Christ hears you today, and will cover your sin with His blood, if you cry out to Him. Come join me at the altar of Faith Church today. Whenever I kneel before the throne of mercy and grace, I find forgiveness for the mistakes I’ve made, healing for my frozen and broken heart, and a another chance to get my serve right. He is the master instructor, and all that I have and everything I am is because of Him.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: a second chance today! Jesus has the power to save you. Do not be afraid to ask the Lord of life to give you another opportunity to begin again. He will do it. Will you trust Him enough to give Him your heart this morning?


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.