July 2, 2012

Worthy of a Second Chance

Deep blue skies and temps worthy of being bottled and sold didn’t fit with the drab, cold beige of Skid Row. The cloudless day contrasted with the dark clouds hanging over her. I can’t get her wobbly steps, full of pain, out of my mind’s eye. This woman who approached me on Skid Row for a hot square of eggs and a sip of water. Timid and scared, she gave me a thousand reasons why she deserved a second chance.

It seems she would have done most anything to fill her aching need. Oh, but if she only knew she didn’t have to jump through hoops. Indeed, she couldn’t have; the pain in her legs was too great. Which is all right, because she didn’t need to do anything more than approach & ask for a second chance for a food. It was truly my joy to serve her a meal.

And that’s all we need to do when in need. Approach the Lord, take that first step. It may be painful, but friend, there is Bread and Water on the other side worth cutting through the memories, shame, hurt, doubt. Waiting to fill you, listen to you, take care of you. Ask for forgiveness, for healing and hope.

My sole purpose for being on Skid Row was to love. Love through a hot meal, cold cup of water, listening ear, caring heart. And with great hope, to rescue someone and bring them into freedom and new life by  taking them back to the Dream Center. Can you see this is the Lord’s sole purpose for you? To love you through sending His Son, offering forgiveness and hope, a caring heart. And to rescue you from whatever it is you’re caught in and give you new life.

I’m not sure how your first step toward that will look, but I do know today is a great day to take it. Some things that might help are

Prayer – try journaling your prayers. Also, ask a friend or mentor to pray with you.
Worship – sing along. There is power in praising out loud.
Talking – share your heart with a trusted friend, pastor or counselor.

Let’s say Yes to approaching and asking. He’s waiting and willing to give a second chance.


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  1. Lori Thompson says:

    Thank you for your email today about second chances

  2. Kim Maxwell-Murdock says:

    Thank you for reminding us of how beloved we are to our Lord! It’s always good to remember we have 2nd, 3rd and many, many more chances. God bless you!

  3. Jen Cairns says:

    I read about the Dream Center awhile back on p31 – & it humbles me & encourages me to want to do more. What a blessing to those who need blessed & to those who get the opportunity to be part of God’s work. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Thank you for today’s encouragement–what a beautiful message for all of us!

  6. Becca Woods says:

    Thank you for the devotional and your time spent on Skid Row.!

  7. katrina LaPlante says:

    Thank you for this reading this morning. I am 20 days in recovery and the struggle is a daily, sometimes hourly thing right now. Every morning I get up and read my devotionals looking for something to carry with me throughout the day to help get over the next mountain. This morning your reading was exactly what the “doctor ordered”.

    • Cindy B. says:

      Go to crosswalk.com and sign up for the girlfriends in god newsletter also. There is a ton of other good info on that website to give you hope and encouragement too. You can stay clean. You dont need that stuff. You’re worth much more than that. You will rise again. All you need is God. Find out about salvation through Jesus Christ if you havent already. It will turn your life around, i promise you. God bless you. Love, C

    • God bless you. Our daughter went thru drug and alchohol rehab in 1999. She has been clean ever
      Since.she is 32yrs old and about 6wks from having her 2nd child and is in a happy marrige. She has compled her 4yr college degree. There is another chance to do it over and GOD WILL get you there

    • I am praying for you right now, Katrina. xo

  8. apple blossom says:

    thanks for the wonderful reminder in your thoughts today.

  9. Dierdre McLin says:

    Thank you for reminding us that everyone is worthy of another chance.

  10. Sam, what a precious message you gave us today with your devotion. I am praying God will take your words and bring them alive in the heart of every woman who feels unworthy of love…most especially God’s love. May they experience the fullness of His love, mercy, and grace through your devotional and the love with which you wrote it. I LOVE your tender heart. You express it so beautifully in your giftedness to write.

    I love you, Sam, and am so thankful to call you friend.


  11. Christine Lenz says:

    Thank you for this devotional today. I’ve been going through an extremely difficult time lately, God spoke to me through this devotional this morning and it was exactly what I needed to hear. He never ceases to amaze me! Thank you for letting Him use you to reach others- I am so grateful for people like you.

  12. This devotional today really touched me and reminded me that I am worthy of another chance. Thank you for sharing this story today!

  13. Your devo reminded me again of the grace freely given to us.

  14. Carissa says:

    “I’ll never know how much it cost, to see my sin upon that cross.” That always moves me, too. God is SO generous. SO faithful. SO loving. I am so thankful . . . usually. I want my life, my decisions, to always reflect a heart of thankfulness. Not so. Unfortunately. I’m thankful, though for God’s forgiveness and for the way He draws me back to Him–through the humbling words of a worship song, and in countless other ways. Thanks for the reminder, Sam.

  15. Thank you for your encouragement. I know that God’s forgiveness is a constant that was paid for by His Son. But some days, I have a hard time remembering that. Thank you for the reminder. As a parent, a professional, a christian, and a sinner, I need this type of encouragement in my life, and I hope to encourage others in the same way. May I truly remember the sacrifice and not belittle what Christ has done for me!

  16. Every city should have a Dream Center. God is so awesome !

  17. Your Second Chances articel today reminded me of a lyric I wrote when I was working for the Salvation Army with recovering drug addicts so I thought I would pass it along to you. It is not a hopeful song, but I was writing it from the perspective of the homeless/hopeless person.

    Have you noticed
    In the frozen city
    That the sun has lost its heat?

    Except for those whose fortunes made on easy street.

    While the crawlers and forgotten
    Dig to stay a little warm
    clawing deeper into darkness
    to escape the storm.


    They say if only you believe,
    Then life is peaceful and serene.
    It’s hard to comprehend
    In silence louder than my screams.

    That bright, white, blinding light
    I’m searching for
    It’s always just beyond my reach

    They say if only,
    If only,
    you believe.

    Have you noticed?
    There are some who stand
    a blaze under the sun?

    They say if only you believe
    That’s true for everyone.

    But I spend most of my existence
    Chilled through to my weary bones
    Wandering in this endless blizzard
    I created on my own.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the email from Proverbs 31 ministries…I was wondering if you ever do get to share Jesus with these women that come through the food line? It would be so heartbreaking to watch them come through and go out, just as hopeless as before.

  19. Thanks Samantha for your Proverbs 31 devotion, I think we all need a second chance at life sometimes. It was an encouragement to me to keep on keeping on. Thanks again, Polly

  20. Cindy B. says:

    That is so touching, it really brought tears to my eyes. I was a drug addict but by all of God’s grace i never had to lose EVERYTHING. I thought I had, but hearing your story just made me realize how lucky i really was. I still had a car, a warm bed, food to eat, and people who loved me. Boy, was i spoiled or what? I didn’t even know God then. That was 10 years ago. I am just now getting to know God and how awesome he truly is and how much he really loves us all. We just have to go to him first. Thank you so much for showing me how bad i DIDN’T have it. You’re truly an inspiraion. Love, C

  21. Samantha,
    Your devotional about Shame came at the right tim
    in my life. That is one of things I’m working on is overcoming
    shame from my past and what had been done to me.
    Whatever area I’m working on God shows up at the right
    time. Thank you for your encouraging words.
    Have a Blessed Day!

  22. The second chances… I’ve lived them too – and thanked God for them!

  23. Thanks for reminding again……………I am forgiven………He does give second chances……….we know, yet, somhow, sometimes………….WE NEED TO HEAR HIM SAY IT AGAIN! Thanks for being His vessel today. May you be most blessed!

  24. Jennifer says:

    It is hard for me to remember that even I am offered second, third, fourth chances with God. A very good reminder that no matter what I have done all I have to do is ask for forgiveness and it is given. Christ sacrificed all, all for me.

  25. Ooh my, thank you so much…I needed this just today!

  26. Oh yes, you do have a way with words! Beautifully put. God makes a way where there is none…and isn’t it a blessing when He uses us to be His hands and feet…and even eyes and ears. How can we keep from being so deeply moved that God has saved wretches like us? Amazing Grace!

  27. Thank you so much for the reminder that Jesus does give second chances – I have been praying for a second chance for a very long time now and get quite discouraged at times….today was one of the days I needed encouraging words. Bless you for what you do Sam!

  28. Even though I know I serve a God who never gives up on me & gives not only second chances, but chance after chance, sometimes it is really hard to believe that He can still have a plan for my life – something far beyond what I could ever hope for or even imagine. Thanks for the reminder.

  29. Beautiful! Our God is faithful!

  30. Kathleen says:

    How wonderful to serve a God of second chances.

  31. Colleen G. says:

    A beautiful, touching blog post. And I am so very thankful for second chances…
    -Colleen G.

  32. Thank you for the encouragement you give and the time you take to minister to us all!!

  33. Esther Grace says:

    Thank you, Jesus for your second, third, fourth and so many more chances!!! I am so THANKFUL for Him, His unconditional love, mercy, grace and joy!!! Thank you for your encouragement, Samantha!!! I love you!!!

  34. Samantha Howard says:

    Thank you sooo much for the devotional today on second chances…I so needed the encouragement. Thank you, Lord, for being the God of second, third, forth……chances!

  35. Love this. Thank you.

  36. Oh, thank you –
    Just yesterday, I was “boohooing” about how LONGGG my wilderness walk has been taking; I have been before Him, and in his wonderful graciousness – he has been amazing with showing me so many things; and confirming that, indeed, he IS most certainly WITH me – even thru this valley;

    I love when he uses devotionals and others who have NO clue what is happening in my life, to show up – and reveal himself to me; Though my circumstances are different – oooh, your blog, surely touched home; thank you for writing! God BLESS you…

  37. SUSAN G. says:

    Thanks for another encouraging word Sam! Your words are ‘dripping’ of love… I would love to visit the Dream Center one day…I have heard so much about it.
    Susan G.

  38. Thank you so much for such an encouraging reminder. I have a brother who has been in and out of jail and rehab for half of his life at this point. I am convinced that God has a special plan for Him. He got saved while in jail about 10 years ago and has had many struggles and hardships ever since. I was in school in another state and there was no one from my church back home who would reach out to him. With no one to disciple him he quickly fell back into the same lifestyle he’d had before. We’ve had many conversations over the last couple of years about God not giving up on His children, but it is a very hard concept for my brother to grasp. my prayer is for him to realize that no matter what # chance he’s on, God is waiting with open arms and loves him unconditionally.

  39. Melodie says:

    Sam…Thanks so much for your encouraging and thought provoking words. You are so gifted with words.I cant wait for you to write book.

  40. Thank you for sharing! The book sounds amazing, so thanks!

  41. Sam, your devotional post brought tears to my eyes (as they often do). Thank you.

    While many of us haven’t had such severe circumstances as the lady you helped on Skid Row (although many have and do currently face these tough situations), we’ve all faced things in life that threaten to knock us down and keep us down. Knowing that no matter what happens there is a God who loves you and accepts you is something we all need reminders of now and again.

    Grateful for your post. xo

  42. Thanks for your words!

  43. Maria D'Erasmo says:

    I think what you have done to help the homeless is a great gift from God!

  44. Thanks for the posts about everyone deserves second chances. We all are given that chance by God and for that I am thankful for that opportunity. God has a great plan for us and sometimes we get off track and then we are given the chance to pull ourselves out of the mess..Great posts

  45. Colleen Posey says:

    My comment is a bit comical but it taps into the second chances message which has inspired hope and forgiveness. You see a few days ago, I went on a date with a guy who was great.We had spoken to each other via email for over a month so we were quite confortable. I don’t get to date often as a single mother and my walk of abstinence in my mid 30’s has been everything short of a miracle! So here I am on this date with a guy I am shockingly attracted to and my whole little peaceful world breaks apart. You know where I am going with this right? Yeah, you would think I would have had plenty of patience and self-control but nooooo! My little happy christian self was like a praying manthis! LOL! You see the truth was that I blocked myself off to temptations by not allowing myself to date or meet men because it was more like an addiction than a desire to love.I hid from men so when one finally found me, it wasn’t pretty. Needless to say, this poor boy ran faster than the road runner! But the good news is that I have realized this problem and ran to my God faster than time itself and cried my eyes on the lap of my Lord and asked for his forgiveness. After reading second chances, I realize that I am not down for long.I don’t have to be embarassed or ashamed anymore but I am humbled by my lack of self control. Whether I get a second chance with Road Runner or someone else is not as important as getting a second chance with God. But I won’t lie, I would be relieved that Mr. Road Runner would come to realize that I am not the Coyote but perhaps just an anxious female road runner in search of running together. 🙂

  46. kay wolter says:

    thank you for this drawing

  47. Arlene Caldwell says:

    Thank you for your commit today, it reminded me of God’s promises to me. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you can’t see it coming, but God never changes and he does not throw you curve balls without warnings. I thank him because even when I fall short, he still loves me. and I pray for the youg lady comments before mine, that God keep her and continue to bless her as he continues to reveal himself to her, even when she falls short, she is still righteous in his eyes, through his son Jesus.

  48. Thank-you for all you do! These words help me as I am trying to get through a very difficult time. I am been unemployed for nearly 2 years and now my family is split up. With these words, I have so much more hope and confidence.

    Thank-you so very much.

  49. Reynaldo Alorro says:

    How refreshing and indeed encouraging to hear and read stories about God who is ready, attentive, and responsive to every prayer that we mutter before Him….This is indeed the most potent weapon that a christian possesses. Thanks Sam for reminding me again that God is a God of second chance and endless chances if we only seek Him and ask of Him in prayer….God bless!

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