Second Chances

“Life Interrupted” Week Five — Bible Study Re-cap

We just finished week 5 in our study of the book of Jonah (“Life Interrupted” by Priscilla Shirer). Everyone I’ve talked to who is participating keeps saying over and over how much this study has really challenged their hearts but also encouraged them right when they needed it. All of us have had or are currently experiencing the upset of interruptions. The interruptions of life happen to be one of those unavoidable things. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, man or woman, new to a relationship with Jesus or have been loving God a long time…you will be interrupted. The main point we have examined in this study has been to ask ourselves what we will do when faced with interruptions that are actually God-breathed and designed specifically for our lives? Will we embrace what He has for us or dig our heels in, turn, and run in the opposite direction (like Jonah running from Ninevah)?

Last week, as we worked our way through the daily homework, there were two distinct points given. First, we were reminded that God is the God of second chances. Thank goodness, right? This is one of those truths I hope I never get used to or take for granted.

The second point we looked at jumped off the page of my workbook: “Our second chance brings us full circle to the place where we have to choose full obedience.”

This reminded me of a time in my life when I felt a bit lost. I found myself sitting across a desk from my pastor telling him my dilemma. “I’m doing everything I know to do. I’m serving God but something is still off. I’m wandering. I don’t know where to go or what I’m supposed to do next. I can’t hear Him.” His response to me was interesting. He said, “What’s the last thing He said to you? Figure that out and do it.”

What did he mean? Well, he was directing me to think through if there was anything in my life that was left undone. Was there something God had told me to do or asked me to act on that I had either disobeyed to just been careless not to complete? He was pointing out that perhaps my lack of direction for what to do next was because God had already given me my next step and I was the one holding things up because I hadn’t taken it yet.

Have you ever been on a well-worn, narrow dirt path surrounded by a very thick forest? I’m talking about the kind of forest that has so many trees and brush that it’s hard to even see through. Little light comes in, and if you find yourself veering off the designated path your feet are constantly being pulled at by twigs, you have to duck from the hanging branches that seek to scratch and pull at you, and you can very easily lose all sense of direction. Psalm 23 says “He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” See, God has a clear path for us to follow. It’s not always easy. Sometimes we feel ourselves slipping down steep valleys. Sometimes the uphill climb leaves us tired and wondering what we’ll be facing as we make it over the crest. But what we can count on is that when we stay on the path He has laid out for us, even when there are surprises along the way, we will always have sure footing for our next step. Trying to find our own way, or choosing to walk away from His designated next step will put us in a place where we’re vulnerable to becoming disoriented, alone, and lost.

The great thing is, it’s never too late to send out an SOS! He really does give second chances (and third and fourth). So, the next time we try to make our own path (or like Jonah tried to sail to Tarshish) and our decisions swallow us up and we get spit back out in the realization that God has saved us and still loves us and still has plans for us –- STAND UP, WIPE THE FISH GOO OFF AND HEAD FOR NINEVAH!!!

Or in other words…what’s the last thing He said to you? Figure it out and do it.