Truly, God is the God of the second chance. Ask Jonah! Not only the second but the third and fourth on it goes. God’s grace is endless for His children. Isaiah saw this clearly,
He giveth power to the faint; And to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings as eagles; They shall run, and not be weary; And they shall walk, and not faint.Isaiah 40:29-31.
So, when we see a young man given a second chance, it is nothing more than the grace of God operative. We can all be grateful for that. Our only hope in this life is the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was named Jesus as He would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21) True believers recognize this and rejoice when a wayward one comes home to the fold.
In this instance, the youngster is Brenton Winn. He, by his own admission, was troubled, failed, and ready to end it all in suicide. Earlier this year, Winn He went into Central Baptist Church in Conway, Arkansas where he caused over $100,000.00 of damage on church premises. He was high on methamphetamines at the time. Winn explained how he had hit rock bottom. He relapsed from a few successful months of a rehab program, was devastated by the news of a relative’s death, and was soon on the streets helpless and homeless.
Miraculously, a few months after this reckless display of wickedness, Brenton Winn was back at the Central Baptist Church building. This time, however, he was not there to break anything but was there a broken young man chastised by God’s love and grace. The Lord got a hold of him and God’s goodness was evidently on record as Winn publicly confessed his faith in Jesus Christ as his personal savior and was baptized.
Through the ministry Don Chandler, senior pastor at Central Baptist Church, Winn was given a second chance by God. Chandler recognizing the need to show forgiveness, sought out the Prosecutor in Winn’s case and pleaded for leniency in this situation and assured the lawyer that he and the church would like to help with Winn’s rehabilitation. The Judge in the case, gave Winnan an ultimatum–either twenty years of prison time or the completion of one year in a rehabilitation program at Renewal Ranch, a Christian residential recovery ministry in partnership with Central Baptist.
Winn has claimed that God is Real. Brenton Winn even acknowledges God’s hand in sovereign oversight of his life. “As I’m starting to understand how God works,” Winn explained to Baptist Press, “I’ve realized I didn’t pick the church that night. God picked me.” With such clarity at this stage of his walk with the Lord, let us pray that Brenton stays the course. Of course, if he slips, God’s hand is at the ready.
For a local news report video, click here.
[Author’s Note: Though Pastor Chandler’s act of kindness may have been a catalyst for Brenton Winn’s new faith in Christ, Pulpit and Pen, and this writer, do not necessarily endorse all of Central Baptist Church’s faith and practice. We hope and pray that Winn evidences authentic regeneration and a life of devotion to Jesus Christ our Lord]