Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” (Judg. 4:14)

As a father of four, I have had plenty of days where I felt like I had not been as effective a parent as I could have been. I could have been more understanding, more patient, more direct, more creative, or whatever the case may be. I’m so grateful as a parent for second chances—for the opportunity to try a different approach, to have a new attitude, or to take more time to listen. Second chances are an essential part of any learning experience—whether at school, at work, in the home, or in our relationship with God.

When given God’s perfect plan, Barak balked. With battle looming, however, Barak received a second chance. Deborah commanded him to advance against the enemy, and this time, he didn’t hesitate. While he didn’t regain the opportunity to take down Sisera, the commander of the enemy army, a privilege he lost when he rejected God’s initial plan, he did have a fresh opportunity to show courage and bravery and lead his troops to battle, all of which he accomplished, soundly defeating the enemy.

In our lives, it’s easy to miss the second chance when we’re stuck in regret about missing the first chance. However, if we keep our focus on God—and his presence and guidance—we will receive his grace and mercy to take advantage of the second chance.

Value second chances and take advantage of the mercy they represent.

Kevin R. Scott is a pastor and author of ReCreatable: How God Heals the Brokenness of Life. He lives with his family in middle Tennessee.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.