If you know me, then I’m sure you know what’s on my mind today—it’s Buctober!! My favorite team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, is playing in the NL Wildcard game tonight. For the second straight year they are hosting the do-or-die Wildcard game. If they win, they advance to the NLDS, but if they lose, their season is over. There is no do over. This one game determines the fate of their season.
My small group is currently studying the book of Jonah. I am always amazed at how much the authors of the various Bible studies I’ve done can glean from just one verse of Scripture. Take Jonah 3:1 for instance—
Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time:
I breezed right through that without even a second thought. Did you? As it turns out, that short and simple verse is quite meaningful. As it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
It is helpful to know what precedes that verse in Jonah. The prophet, Jonah, received clear instruction from God and chose to run far and fast in the opposite direction. The result was one wicked storm, his being thrown overboard by Pagan sailors, and landing inside a giant fish. After three days the fish spit him out on land. That’s my own short version of the story anyhow. Follow that up with Jonah 3:1 and you see a God of second chances. God could have just let Jonah drown in his disobedience. He could have washed His hands of Jonah and written him off. But He didn’t. Why? Because God is merciFULL! When Jonah repented of his sin and cried out to God, God’s response was laced with grace. As children of God we, too, get a second chance, and a third, and a fourth, and a….fill in any number you want when we come to Him and acknowledge our sin. Doesn’t that make your day? Unlike the Pittsburgh Pirates, we can have another chance if we don’t play well today.
With that being said, I certainly hope the Buccos come up big and win the game tonight. I am thrilled beyond belief to be able to be there in person. My favorite doctor would say that I’m wound tighter than a $2 toaster!