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Doug Creamer: The God of second chances

            Last weekend I had the high privilege of being invited to a friend’s wedding. I consider it a privilege because they only invited family and a few friends…and they counted us as their friends. The setting was in another friend’s backyard. This was a beautifully landscaped yard…like something out of Southern Living. God provided the picture-perfect weather.
            The groom has been a friend for a number of years. We met in church and while we have gone our different ways have managed to keep in touch. We try to have dinner a few times a year just to keep the friendship alive. He is a godly man, the kind that tries to live out his faith. I like spending time with him because he is a salt of the earth kind of person. If you ever found yourself in need, he would be the man to call.
            What I really liked about the wedding is that they both have been lucky to have a second chance at love. They were both married previously but things didn’t work out for them the first time. I can only imagine that neither of them believed that they would be able to find love again.
            Sadly, I know some Christians that believe that they don’t deserve another chance. They believe that if you can’t make your first marriage work then you shouldn’t be given the opportunity to find love and happiness again. We live in a fallen world and sometimes marriages end. I believe God wants every marriage to succeed and doesn’t want anyone to suffer through divorce. I also believe that if people can’t make it work, He is compassionate and wants them to be in a loving relationship.  
            I have always believed that I serve a God of second chances, or in some cases 100 chances. I look back on my life and see so many ways that I failed God on so many levels. If I thought God was a once and done God, I would have been done years ago. Instead, I choose to believe that God has compassion on a broken and repentant heart. I choose to believe that He hears my pleas for mercy and forgiveness and that He gives me second chances.
            We are all dependent on God’s forgiveness. You believe God had mercy on you and forgave you for your sins, right? So why can’t God show mercy to people who struggle with their marriages? I believe we don’t really understand the depth of God’s forgiveness. I believe God would rather we didn’t divorce. He knows that pain and anguish and wants to keep you from suffering.
            Marriage requires both individuals to make it work. Marriage it not easy or everyone would stay married. Because people are human, broken, and fallible, marriages will sometimes come to an end. I firmly believe that God forgives us; that’s why I believe He gives second chances. I know some people who believe they found their soulmate in their second marriage.
            Do second marriages have problems and trials? Naturally they do. Whenever you put two people together, you are going to have conflicts. It’s even more difficult when children are involved. Successful second marriages require extra grace.
I believe that God’s love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy are greater than we can imagine. I do believe that God expects me to live right and to make good choices, but when I fail I know I can run into His arms and find mercy. I know that I have to live a repentant life. I firmly believe that if my heart is right before God, He will grant me second, and third, and fourth chances. I also know that when I make mistakes that there will be consequences and pain, but I believe that God can even help me find healing for that too.
            I want to encourage you to give God a second chance. Some people believe that they are too far gone for God to love. Nothing could be further from the truth. If God can forgive the criminal on the cross, He can forgive you. I promise you that God cares about you and your circumstances more than you can ever imagine. Choosing to trust God is not easy, but He will never leave you or forsake you. He will help you through the mess of your life. All God wants is for you to believe in Him, to trust Him. He stands ready to love and forgive you. Don’t worry if you mess up, He’ll give you a second chance!
Contact Doug at  doug@dougcreamer.com

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