The God of a Second Chance
Share This Devotional
I began working in television in Milwaukee in 1978. While I'd never set out to do talk TV, I felt at home from the beginning, and being in the public eye gave me many opportunities to share my faith. Because it was fairly common knowledge in the community that I was a Christian, the publicity of going through a divorce was difficult. That winter, I went home at the end of each day to a cold, silent house. Emotionally depressed and grieved, I would then climb into bed with my hat, coat, and boots still on and sleep till morning.
I'm not sure when that heavy veil of grief and emptiness began to lift. But sometime that spring, I became aware of the sweet smell of the wet earth beginning to thaw, the songs of promise that were being sung with such abandon from every nest and perch. I began to move on. I had no intention of dating and no interest in pursuing a new relationship. Though I loved children, I had accepted that there would be none in my first marriage. I was in my 30s, and the prospect of marriage and a family seemed remote and unlikely. Yet God had other plans.
I met Andy Friedrich at a retirement celebration for a coworker. He had gone through a divorce a number of years before that, and after much floundering and searching, a friend had led him to Christ. But no one had discipled him, so he had little knowledge of the Scriptures and wasn't in a church or study group of any kind. Initially we met to talk about the Lord. In time, I grudgingly conceded to a date, but not without apprehension.
Even though Andy was ready for a relationship, I was still gun-shy—so he simply waited. With tenderness and kindness and an incredible amount of patience, he broke down any barriers I'd put up. He was faithful, trustworthy, and committed to the Lord and to me. We were married a little more than a year after we'd begun dating.
The Lord used Andy in many ways to help heal old wounds in me. He offered both of us a new beginning, a clean slate, a hope, and a future. And I'm now a mom—not one, not two, but seven children, each a precious, unique gift from the Lord. God has surely given me more than I could hope for or ask.
The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis is one of my favorites. Sold by his brothers into slavery, taken to a foreign land, unfairly accused and imprisoned, and with little hope or expectation of ever seeing his family again, Joseph was in what seemed an impossible situation. Despite all that, the Bible says, "The Lord was with him."
God allowed the testing to build character in Joseph. Joseph went through years of waiting and suffering before he saw God's plan in it all. God used Joseph to save Egypt, the surrounding nations, and Joseph's own family. God's plans and purposes are so much bigger and greater than our own.
At the end of his story, Joseph says,
"You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day"(NKJV)
That same truth is reconfirmed in the book of Romans in the New Testament.
"All things work together for good to those who love God"(NKJV).
God is indeed, the God of second chances.
Thank You, Lord for the constant message of restoration that runs throughout Your Word. Thank You for the glimpse of Your handiwork that is so much bigger and more beautiful than I could have imagined. Help me to be faithful in times of testing. Align my life with Your will. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.
Excerpted with permission from Near to the Heart of God, by Terry Meeuwsen ©1998
Share This Devotional