The driver was dead.

Later that evening I couldn't help but reflect on what had happened. What if I'd left work only a few seconds later? What if the pressure I'd applied to the accelerator had been just a little bit lighter? What if the driver who ran the red light had been applying a little more pressure to his accelerator?

My life could have been snuffed out in an instant that day.

No, I'm not implying that God loved me more than He did the victim of the accident. What I am suggesting is that since the day of my birth and the day of my death are written on God's calendar, He must have a detailed plan that includes every aspect of my life, including my choices.

Your failures. If all your steps are directed by God, wouldn’t that include your missteps and stumbles? That only makes sense. The story line of your life — already written by the Divine Author — includes all your choices, not just the good ones. Since the psalmist used our birth as an example of God's intricate plan for every aspect of our lives, let's continue using that analogy for a moment.

What if your conception was the result of the premarital liaison of two hormonally charged teenagers, an extramarital affair, or even a rape? Such conceptions occur every hour of every day.

After reading Psalms 139, could you really say your birth was an accident?

Somehow God was able to use the moral failure of others to accomplish His plan for you. If God can use other people’s mistakes for good, why are we surprised that He can also use our mistakes to achieve His purpose? It's a mind-boggling thought! But one that offers hope to anyone who has failed.

In this month's series Second Chance, Second Act on Pathway To Victory radio and television (www.ptv.org), you can learn how to turn your biggest mistakes into new beginnings.

Adapted from Second Chance, Second Act by Robert Jeffress, Waterbrook Press, 2007. Used with permission.