New Chances

In the hallway, right at the top of my stairs, a wooden sign with the saying “365 days. 365 New chances” hangs on a lonely wall. I place it right there, purposely, so I can see it when I go to bed and right when I wake up because those are the times I need to see it. Like most moms, I go to bed feeling defeated by the day. As if on cue, a film reel plays in my head on my last trip of the day up the stairs. All my poor chosen words, actions and choices of the day replay in my head right before I go to bed. No matter how much I did that day, in my mind, it’s never enough. I dwell on my failures and short-comings. Being a human is tough. We are flawed and some days are tougher than others. These are the days when nothing seems to be going right and everything that you touch seems to get messed up somehow. On days like this I find it hard to keep my patience and Christianity in check. I become inpatient, rude, ungrateful; all characteristics that are unbecoming and quite the opposite I hope to display to my children. When I lay in bed after a day like that, not only do I still feel the weight of stress from the days let downs but I also feel a huge disappointment in myself. Not only do I go to bed letting myself down but I feel as if I’ve let my family down and more importantly Jesus. He gives us so much every day and after days where I act less then grateful (especially for my beautiful family) I feel ashamed and immediately want a do-over. I want a chance to redeem myself from bad behavior and to prove to Him I am worth His blessings. Luckily, just like my sign reminds me of, Jesus is all about second chances.

Jesus has shown us over and over that He is willing to forgive and move on, if one is truly sorry in his heart. Throughout the Bible He shows examples of His forgiveness with the company He keeps, the healings He performs and the words He says. No one is beneath Him and He shows love for all sinners. He judges people by their hearts, not by their actions. He chose Peter, gave him the keys to Heaven and trusted His church to him. Peter, the man who denied Him three times. He saw Peter’s heart was good and saw past the sins. He forgave the thief on the cross next to Him, during His Crucifixion. He saw his heart and knew it was good. If He can do that for them, He can surely forgive mine, flaws and all.

Jesus also goes a step further and gives us the gift of Confession. A place where we can go and actually “feel” His forgiveness. God understands humans because He made each, and every, one of us. He became human Himself and walked side by side with us.  He knew all the temptations we face, the irritations we feel and mistakes that we make. We all fail and He knows this, He knows our weaknesses and loves us anyway. Because of this love, He made so many ways back to Him. He made Himself easy to reach and He is always there. He set it up from the beginning, knowing our misgivings and having a formula mapped out all along on how to make it right. How lucky we are to have a God in Heaven so willing to forgive us for our mistakes and embrace us despite them.

I guarantee that I will have more bad days. I guarantee that I will act in a way that disappointments myself and others. I guarantee this because I am human and as a human I make mistakes. It’s what we do. Jesus knows this. Jesus’ last words before death spoke of forgiveness and He called up to God saying, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”  He called out forgiveness for the people who demanded HE be crucified. I believe He did this to show that no sin is unforgivable in His eyes. Can you imagine the impact those words had on those who were there? Forgiveness is such a powerful act and every day when I act in an unfavorable way, I am thankful that I believe in a God who believes in people, believes in love, in forgiveness and most of all in “do-overs”. So, let’s remember to treat each day as a gift from God, because that’s what it is. Every day is a fresh start, a new beginning, so let’s honor Him in our actions and not waste His precious gift.

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