A Second Chance

Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish:

I called to the Lord in my distress,
and he answered me.
I cried out for help from deep inside Sheol;
you heard my voice.
You threw me into the depths,
into the heart of the seas,
and the current overcame me.
All your breakers and your billows swept over me.
But I said, “I have been banished
from your sight,
yet I will look once more
toward your holy temple.
The water engulfed me up to the neck;
the watery depths overcame me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
I sank to the foundations of the mountains,
the earth’s gates shut behind me forever!
Then you raised my life from the Pit, Lord my God!
As my life was fading away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
to your holy temple.
Those who cherish worthless idols
abandon their faithful love,
but as for me, I will sacrifice to you
with a voice of thanksgiving.
I will fulfill what I have vowed.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.”

Jonah 2:1-9

At Jonah’s instruction, the sailors threw him into the stormy sea to appease Yahweh and save their own lives. End of story. The disobedient prophet is punished for running from God’s call.

The story of Jonah doesn’t end that way, though. Chapter 1 ends with an interesting sentence. God sends a large fish to swallow Jonah alive and rescue him from drowning. Jonah spends three days within the fish thinking about his situation. He recognizes that God has rescued him from certain death and he is thankful for a 2nd chance. He sees this as a new chance on life that he didn’t deserve.

In the movie Walk The Line, there is a scene where June Carter rescues a drunk Johnny Cash when he accidentally backs a tractor into the lake after an argument with his father at Thanksgiving dinner. As he’s laying on the lakeshore, he whispers, “You should have left me.” After Johnny wakes up soberer the next day, he still feels remorse over the ways he has hurt people. June Carter encourages Johnny that God has given him a second chance on life.

We all have seasons in life when we may feel that God is done with us and we may as well just die. In those times, though, we need to be looking for how God has given us a second chance on life.

  • When are some times that God has given you a second chance to make things right?

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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