Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "We Give Thee But Thine Own"1 (Lyrics)
Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV)
A few months ago, I had a memorable encounter with a lady who taught me the value of second chances through her act of forgiveness.
I had just left a doctor's appointment and decided to pop into a shop that was adjacent to the doctor's office. When I am in public places, I always have headphones on, as I suffer from social anxiety and am particularly sensitive to noise. However, as I had removed my headphones for my doctor's appointment, I didn't think that it was worth donning them to make a quick purchase.
I was perusing some items on a shelf when an unexpectedly loud cry made me literally jump in the air. I clutched my chest and felt my heart beating a staccato rhythm underneath my ribcage.
I turned around slowly to discover the source of the noise: a mother was standing near me with a three-year-old girl in a stroller. The toddler was upset, which was evident through her loud cries and flailing limbs, complete with tightly clenched fists.
I felt sorry for the girl, as well as for her mother, who was visibly at a loss as to how to soothe her child. I fervently hoped that the lady hadn't noticed my involuntary reflex in response to her child's outburst. Unfortunately, she had.
"You don't need to behave so distastefully towards us!" she barked at me. "My goodness, she is only a child!"
I was so embarrassed. I turned to the lady and tried to explain my predicament, and how I felt no animosity towards her baby.
Oh, why didn't I just put on my headphones? I lamented inwardly.
Still offended, the lady stormed out of the shop. I felt just awful. I was about to look for the lady outside, when she suddenly reappeared.
"I apologize," she said gently, "I've had a hard day with my girl. I heard you when you said that you had health problems, and I felt sorry for you. I had to come back and tell you that."
"No, it is me who should apologize!" I exclaimed with relief. "Raising a child is hard, and I so admire you! I wanted to find you and tell you that!"
We spent the next thirty minutes talking, and I was grateful for the second chance that this lady offered me to make amends by forgiving me.
This experience was an important reminder for me that God forgave us for our sins through the blood sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. His gift of salvation is our second chance at eternal righteousness with our heavenly Father. Thank You, Lord!
Prayer: Merciful Father, thank You for forgiving us for our sins and offering us a second chance at eternal life through Your gift of salvation in Jesus. Help us to forgive others as You forgave us. Amen.