June 15, 2014
Submitted by: Virginia
Thank You, Lord, for second chances!
I am so thankful that God gives us the opportunity to have a second chance – the ability to make things right with Him and walk in His ways.
My life has been filled with second chances, and this mission trip is no different. Four years ago, I made the attempt to go on this mission trip. I failed at the attempt, and I never thought I would have the chance again. To my surprise, God used that fail as a motivation for me to make the steps again.
Exactly one year ago from the day I will depart on this mission trip, my grandmother passed away. If you would have told me on the week she passed away that in exactly one year I would be in Mexico doing the work of Christ, I might have looked at you with a blank stare. I might have told you that God would not allow that. I failed Him before. But the way we think is not the way God works. He is greater than our failures, and He will use them to make us strong.
During the time between my upsetting withdrawal from the mission trip to my grandmothers’ death, I was not following Christ. When my grandmother passed away, I was in the mist of questioning my faith. I had wanted to get back into church, but my guilt was immensely weighing me down. The death of my grandmother brought me back in touch with my father (who is a Christian) as well as back in touch with a pastor from the church. My father and I hadn’t spoke for almost two years, and I hadn’t spoken with the pastor since my disappointing departure from the church. At that time I had to make a choice. The choice was do I continue to walk without Christ in my life or will I accept Him for who He is and forever walk with Him. Thankfully I chose to walk with Christ once again.
When God placed it on my heart to go on this trip, my feeling was that of remorse. I was afraid to ask the pastor if I could have a second chance. I was embarrassed to stand in front of people who all had known that I had messed up before. People who had donated to my past trip and I disappointed them all. I wasn’t worried about getting the money to go. I was only considering my shame. I continued to pray on it, and God kept telling me not to worry. He kept telling me to go. I forked up the courage to ask to be a part of this team and to my surprise I was accepted with open arms. My past was my past, and it was never thrown back on me. I was told I could go, and a weight was removed from my shoulders. My only thought was, Lord I promise to not fail you this time. I was given a second chance and all the praise is due to Jesus.
Making the decision to go on this trip has taught me many things. It was showed me first hand that our God is a restorer. He is a God of forgiveness, and a God who brings true joy to the soul. I have witnessed in my life that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the lover of my soul. Without Him I am just a wander, a person not knowing where to go or what to do.
I am far from rich in material possessions, but the richness that my soul has gained from the love of Jesus Christ is a richness that no man can gain from the world. He pours out His love, and I can be forgiven through Him. He is a God of second chances, and because of Him I am able to have this experience. In less than a week, I will be in Mexico speaking about Jesus and what He has done for me. Not only will I be doing that but I will also be walking next to both of my parents, speaking boldly about our Savior. If you would have told me when I was a teenager that my parents and I would be fearless speaking the name of Christ in Mexico, I would have thought it was a crazy thing to say. However, our God is greater than all that, and He has brought restoration to my relationship with them. He is a God who will never leave us or forsake us. For that I stand in complete amazement at the work of His hand. I thank the Lord for His forgiveness and the opportunity to have a second chance.
Psalm 25:4-7: Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.
Thanking the Lord for all He has done, for all He continues to do, and for all He has planned for me,