Experiencing a Second Chance

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(This is an excerpt from the book The Gospel of Second Chances by Lloyd D. Newell.)

Sometimes it seems much easier to talk about second chances than it is to actually experience one. The trouble is that as much as God wants us to believe in second chances, Satan does not. And one of his most effective deceptions is to convince basically good people that they do not need a second chance. “All is well,” he tells them. “You’re fine. Your sins, if you have any, are small compared to those of other people. Don’t worry about it. All is well.” In this way, he blinds their hearts, and they become their own great barrier to repentance.

At one time or another, we are all subject to that kind of deception. In a way, we are like my daughter who, at the age of five, insisted that she did not need glasses, even though an eye exam indicated otherwise. “I can see!” she protested. And she could, but not as well as she would when fitted with her first pair of glasses. Slowly, carefully, she rested the glasses on her nose and opened her eyes to a whole new world. She saw details she’d never seen before: the veins on leaves, the pockmarks in brick, the pointed grass blades that had been blurred. She literally had her eyes opened, and now that she could truly see, she rejoiced in her newfound vision!

Who, through life experience and the process of maturity, hasn’t had his or her eyes opened? Do we ever really know how blind we have been until after we are able to finally see? If we are teachable, if we are humble and meek, if we submissively turn to the Lord, we can create a new life—one that we didn’t even realize was available to us. If we don’t dig in our heels when we make mistakes, God can use us again. If we receive the Lord’s guidance and correction when we stray, He can make us better, stronger, wiser, more empathetic, and softhearted. God’s grace can transform our setbacks and stumbles into a prelude for a great second act in life. God can turn the bitter into sweet, the ugly into beauty.

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