During my childhood years, I went to the home of Grandmama Reynolds for the holidays and ate meals at the kids' table. That was the little card table in the corner where all of us youngsters sat, cut up, and devoured our food. We had some good times around that table.
As I started getting up into middle school, however, I grew tired of the seating arrangement. So I
lobbied begged to get a chair at the grown up table with the older crew. Eventually, the adults caved and let me sit with them. I was thrilled about having easier access to food and listening in on their conversations.
But things didn't work out so well for me. I spilled sweet tea my first time at the grown up table, and was immediately demoted back to the kids' table. Doggone it, I was mad about that! I blew my opportunity. So as my head hung with shame, I returned to that little card table and resumed my holiday meals with the kids. What a bummer.
It was a happy day, however, when they gave me another shot. The grown ups felt sorry for me, I reckon, and granted me another opportunity to sit with them the next year. This time, I was extra careful and paid closer attention to what I was doing. I sat there and ate my meal with no accidents or disasters of any sort. And even though the conversation wasn't nearly as thrilling as my adolescent mind had imagined it would be, it felt good to finally reach the grown up table.
In a way, God does the same thing with all of us that my relatives did with me. We all mess up and fail one way or another. And I'm talking about things far worse than spilling glasses of sweet tea. We blow opportunities. But God, in all of His goodness and grace, has mercy on us. He offers us forgiveness and helps us learn from our mistakes. Then He gives us another opportunity to shine and experience the thrill of success. God appreciates a good comeback story, and He allows us a chance to be a part of one.
Maybe you've failed and made a disaster of things. Believe me, I know how you feel. I've been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. If that's you, here's some good news: God's not through with you. He forgives. He restores. And He provides another chance. Your job is to receive His grace, forgive yourself, and move on. Do it with gratitude and joy. And your life will be so much better.
I'm glad I got another shot at the grown up table. But I'm way more glad to have another shot at life. God sure is good, isn't He?!