It was a cold rainy Autumn day in the U.K., and I found myself walking around an impressively sized abandoned church building, next door to the smaller chapel I was about to preach in. The church building was falling apart, listed for sale years ago, yet it was still so beautiful.
As I gazed up at the plants growing on it’s bell tower, I couldn’t help but reimagine it. Many years ago that bell tower would have rung for the thousands of people who worshipped under the church’s steeple. Now, it sits waiting for a buyer, a “redevelopment”, a second chance.
What will it become? Who will buy it? Will it reopen as a church, or like many others become a museum or restaurant, or maybe even a mosque? I started to dream of it as a community centre, run by Christians for the community. A hub for the gospel, once more. A space that still held worship services, but worshipped through it’s service 5-6 days a week, where coffees were made in it for it’s community, functions were hosted for all, and the unemployed were trained and immigrants were welcomed.
I quickly snapped out of my thoughts as I noticed a man walking towards me. I smiled and turned to walk inside, as I was reminded that a smaller yet still just as a beautiful congregation was waiting for me to give the Sunday message.
I walked upstairs to the small room this group uses for their meetings, and I was confronted with a familiar face. If you know me, I’m from Australia and not from the U.K. A familiar face in this country for me, was a very unfamiliar thing!
“You look so familiar”, I said, to the older gentleman in front of me. “Do I know you?”
“I don’t believe so”, he stated, “We are visiting from out of town.”
We talked for a while trying to figure out if we could have met. I was certain I’d seen him before.
Then it clicked, he and his wife were at Iris Ministries, in Africa, two months ago when I was there. They were doing Iris’ “Harvest School” with my mother and sister, who I was visiting at the time.
“I do know you!”, I exclaimed. “I sat behind you in Mozambique two months ago at Harvest School.”
We were both amazed.
I then remembered something even more amazing. Two months prior I had had a prophecy for this man and his wife, but had failed to deliver it to them, for fear of interrupting them. It had bothered me ever since I’d left Africa. What sort of a prophet fails to deliver prophecies!? What sort of a Pastor shy’s away from encouraging someone. I was kicking myself for “blowing it”, being disobedient and missing an opportunity to bless God and another.
Now, here they were, again, this man and his wife.
Right in front of me, on the other side of the globe!
I couldn’t believe it. I shared the prophecy with them, and they were so thankful, as it certainly meant a lot to them.
And I was left in awe, in awe of God’s second chance nature.
When I left Mozambique two months ago, I thought I would never see anyone from there again, accept for the few people I had met, whose details I had got, and who I had planned to see on this trip or other trips to come.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d see any “random” people from that school any time soon, and I certainly didn’t think I’d see this couple again. Yet of the nearly 8 billion people on the planet, our paths had crossed again!
Some people call these things a coincidence. I call them, second chances.
It’s God’s nature, it’s who He is.
Do you need a second chance? Is your dream decaying? Have you put a “for sale” on your past with little hope for your future? Do you feel like you’ve blown an opportunity?
God’s got a second chance for you, it may even be when you least expect it!
He’s that good, and He loves you that much!
PS- here they are, the “miracle couple!”