I made a mistake and it was haunting me. About a year ago I was presented with an opportunity. It appeared to be the exact opportunity that I had prayed and fasted and cried out to God for. And it felt like it was put right in my lap. To be honest I was surprised. Shocked. It felt unexpected despite the fact that it had been constantly on my mind and a desire in my heart. And as I begin to step into this blessing that I believed was from God, I started to get nervous. Really really nervous. Was I ready for this? Could I actually handle it? Was I going to mess it all up? And the more nervous I got the more tense I became. I never got a chance to delight in the blessing because I was all too consumed with making sure I didn’t LOSE it.
Have you ever done that? Maybe you played sports or love to watch them. If you do, you can always tell when a team goes from determined to win to afraid to lose. If you watch closely, you can pick up on this subtle mindset shift. Playing to win comes from a place of confidence. There is a certainty there that winning is possible and achievable. When a team shifts from trying to win to trying not to lose, they are playing from a place of fear. They often seem scrambled, less focused, and flustered.
That was me. I went from excited to afraid. It was too good to be true. Being myself as I stepped in to this blessing seemed a little risky. I had to be perfect in order to maintain it. The only way to win was to avoid losing at all costs.
That mindset sent me into a downward spiral. A downward spiral that ended in this door to be closed. I couldn’t believe I had exactly what I wanted and then let it slip right through my fingers. I felt like a huge failure. How could I have messed this up when God put it right in my hands? All I had to do was…receive it.
I spent the better part of the year disappointed in myself. Beating myself up for this stupid failure. My dumb mistakes. My wrong mindset. I spent a lot of time praying for healing, clarity and of course another shot. I begged God to just open the door one more time. I wouldn’t mess it up. I could handle it…just give me one more shot.
And then God led me to the story of Joseph in the Bible but this time from a different perspective.
When Josephs brothers threw him into that pit, they made a huge mistake. A mistake they thought resulted in his death. A mistake they could never take back. A mistake that shattered their father Jacobs heart. Some unfortunate circumstances lead them directly to the palace here Joseph was now living. Long story short, Joseph ends up asking his brothers to bring their youngest brother before he helps them. In Josephs mind, they will have nothing to bring because HE is the youngest brother. But little does he know…there is now a Benjamin in the picture.
The brothers go back home and have to face their father Jacob. They tell Jacob that in order to get what they need to survive…they have to bring Benjamin, the youngest brother, back with them. Jacob, clearly, is like uh NO. Last time you took my son…he disappeared forever. But Judah begs and pleads for Jacob to allow them to take Benjamin.
The brothers needed a second chance. They could never get back what they did to Joseph. They could never undo their mistake. But they COULD do the right thing with Benjamin. & if you keep reading you find that Jacob did eventually say yes.
I read over this story again and again until finally I realized I was the brothers. I had mishandled something very precious to my father just like them. But Jacob, Just like our Father in heaven, was willing to give them another shot. And this time they were not the same. Some time had passed and they were now ready to handle the responsibility. They could handle it.
We will make mistakes. We are going to royally screw up. I know I have before and I will again. But a second chance will come. It may take days or months or it may take years. Another chance will come. It may not be when you thought or what you thought, but it will come.
You are not your last mistake. You are not defined by your failures. You are defined by the promises of God. You got fresh mercy when you woke up this morning. You are wiser than you were when you messed up. Move forward in courage. You are defined by the promises of God. Your second chance is coming…and All of heaven is cheering you on.