Second Chance God
When a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Ezekiel 18:27
When I played my last game of college football, I just wasn’t ready to be done. Like most aging athletes, I longed for the opportunity to strap on the helmet one more time. When I was 35, a local amateur football team sprung up and I got my opportunity. It was painful, but I got my second chance to play and it was magical. A torn ligament in my knee dashed my hopes of going pro, but my second chance was worth it.
Most of us can identify with wanting a second chance at something. There’s some relationship or situation that we’ve injured and we long to be able to go back and do it over. For some of us, this regret is all-consuming.
When the consequences of my addiction caught up with me, they threatened to devour me. I felt utterly hopeless as I knew that I had broken everything in life beyond repair. Nothing would ever be the same again.
It wasn’t of course. Life could not go back to the way it was. Some things cannot be undone. I’ll never go back to the job I had to leave. That does not mean however, that there was no second chance at a new life. I’ve not done it perfectly, but in turning from my addiction and following God, he has not given me the old life back, but rather, has given me a beautiful new one.
Today’s passage teaches this principle. When we turn from our destructive path to follow God’s, he grows new life in us. In our struggle, misery and regret, God says, You do not have to live like this. You can know true life, joy, and peace in me. This new life however, does not come just from wanting it. It comes from doing whatever it takes to abandon the old to follow the new. When we do so, God is faithful to give us a second, third, and fourth chance at a new life in him. Thankfully, ours is a God of second chances.