Spot of Grace
February 8, 2017
God Gives Third Chances
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the compassion of God.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
I’m so very grateful for God’s compassion. If it wasn’t for His compassion, I don’t know where I would be. I’m able to serve as a pastor because of God’s compassion. God’s compassion has rescued me over and over.
Now that we’ve turned the calendar into February, I’m reminded that winter is a step closer to turning into spring, and also that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. As men, we sometimes make mistakes and forget stuff and, thankfully, our wives are usually gracious. But I’ve learned from others that there are three mistakes you shouldn’t make: forgetting her birthday, forgetting your wedding anniversary and forgetting Valentine’s Day!
I met my wife, Beckey, during a camp in Wales. She had traveled from her home in the States to the United Kingdom for a summer missions trip. As soon as I met her I knew she was the one! (Don’t we all say that?) Long story short, we enjoyed getting to know each other but in the back of our minds we wondered how our relationship would work out over time and distance. But God had a plan.
Several years passed...
Beckey was progressing through college in America and I was working in sales in England. She continued to walk with the Lord, but I did not. We kept in contact but couldn't grow in our relationship much beyond the occasional letter.
In last week’s “Spot of Grace” I shared about the first wakeup call God gave me during my rebellion, through my dad’s heart attack. Today I would like to tell you about the next chance He gave me to come back to Him.
One day, Beckey called me out of the blue. We hadn’t spoken for a while. I had changed a lot. She told me with great excitement that she was going to spend a semester studying in France and wanted to stop by England and visit with me for a while. Now you have to understand - this is the love of my life who, after nearly three years, was coming back into my life. But the person she knew when we had met was very different from the person I had become. My rebellion had changed me a great deal. but I consoled myself with the hope that she wouldn't notice. I was very wrong.
The morning came for Beckey’s flight to arrive in London. I drove up to the airport filled with both anxiety and excitement. When she walked through immigration and I saw her again all those feelings came rushing back. We loaded up her luggage in my car and headed for my parents’ house. We only made it to Slough - just over 20 miles. I’ll never forget what she told me as I tried to make light of what I had become. She said simply this, “I don’t know who you are or what you’ve become, but you’d better take me back to the airport.”
To say that her words shocked me would be as much of an understatement as saying being hit in the head with a hammer stings a little! I wept, really wept for what I had become. God showed me through Beckey’s eyes how very far I had fallen and how very miserable I had become. First, my dad had a heart attack, and then the love of my life spoke truth. Even so, God wasn’t done rescuing me. I’ll write about the third and final piece of my story next week.
As I close, think about this reality in your own life: God gives second chances, third chances and six thousand six hundred and fifty three chances. Those chances don’t come because God turns a blind eye to our sin. Those chances come from our compassionate God who died to restore us into right relationship with Him.
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Have a good week