Recently I was looking at pictures my husband and I had taken when we were doing some construction at our house. The same rooms that we now sit in and enjoy, once did not exist. More so, I was reminded of the process to get from nothing to something. There was the preparation and the first brick. There was mess, unpainted walls, no ceiling, no windows and it seemed as though the construction would never end. Sometimes it is difficult to imagine that there is life outside of the mess. Even when the physical building was finished, it had to be cleaned out, tiled and painted. Now it is just a part of life. Every time I open the door, I don’t think back to when it was just a former shell and a mess. I know that it was but it does not occupy my thoughts. I simply marvel at what exists now.
“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake
and will never think of them again.
Isaiah 43:25 (NLT)
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
Isaiah 43:25 (NIV)
How is it possible for God to remember no more when it seems our messes and processes are always before us? How do we get to a place where we understand that God marvels at what exists in us now and He does not dwell on what it took to get us here? This applies to life before salvation and also to the mistake we made yesterday. Life does not happen in a straight, smooth line and we will make mistakes along the way but His forgiveness is given freely and it is complete. Even when we do not forgive ourselves.
Peter denied Christ. Three times. After declaring his allegiance. Even after he had foreknowledge of the situation and was sure it would not happen. Peter was ashamed and in tears. (Matt 28:27)
I don’t know if on the day of Pentecost as Peter stood and addressed thousands, if he was thinking back on his previous mistakes and wondering why he was now in this position. You see, God did not base his future on what had happened in the past. Peter’s purpose could have been circumvented had he decided that his mistake was too great to recover from and that he would no longer try. Peter was a mainstay in the early church. (Matt 16:18)
Hands up if you have EVER been in the midst of a self-made mess. Have you given it to God to clean it out, fix it up and marvel at what exists now?
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)
Live in the beauty that is God’s restoration. Regrets can blind us and cause us not to appreciate what has been given to us. If all I thought about the new construction was how it used to be, I would not be able to appreciate what it is now.
Leave the past where it is. It cannot be changed and it was a part of the process.
Know Him as a forgiving God, whether you are looking at your mess or someone else’s
Have a great week sisters. Bask in His love and live in His joy.