God is a god of second chances. If you wonder about the depth of His grace, consider Jonah. He ignored God’s command and ran from Him. Yet God continued to pursue him by pressing into his life. God used a severe storm to get his attention, yet Job still did not give in to God. It was only after God saved his life from certain drowning that Jonah began to relent.
There, in the belly of a fish, he prays to God. He has been humbled and seeks God — seeks to be saved. It’s interesting that he doesn’t repent for ignoring God’s command, but instead shows gratitude for God saving his life: “But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD (Jonah 2:9, NASB).” When Jonah expresses this humble attitude, then “the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land 2:10).”
So God gives Jonah a second chance. He doesn’t turn to someone else, he again turns to Jonah: “Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.’ So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD (3:1-3).” Did you catch that? “The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.” Humbled by God, Jonah responds this time and goes to Ninevah. God’s grace is also evident in what he went through to send a warning to Ninevah through Jonah.
We all make mistakes and sometimes we ignore God’s call on our life, but His “grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:8).” In the midst of regret for our lack of obedience, seek God with a humble heart of thanksgiving. In the trials, seek God’s saving power. See how he has spared you, saved you, selected you to minister to others with the gifts he has given you. When second chances come, arise and go “according to the Word of the Lord (Jonah 3:3).”
© 2021, CGThelen