By Liz Giertz
I sobbed myself to sleep one night, exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically from an altercation with my youngest son.
He was adamant about getting what he wanted, even to the point of dismissing all other alternatives I presented. His iron will would have been worthy of applaud had he not been going head to head with me.
I slept soundly and woke the next morning to my usual routine. When it was time to wake him for school, I entered his room, gently curled around his tiny body and snuggled him close, entirely unencumbered by the previous evening’s strife. For a few precious moments as I breathed in his sweet smell, I felt only love for this little toe-headed boy. I wanted nothing more than to remain there, stroking his hair and feeling his heart beat. Any sadness from the battle we had waged was forgotten.
Until I remembered.
In the space of one long sigh my remembering stole the joy from that blissful moment.
I’d have given anything to return to the serenity of snuggling my angelic child, but the memory returned and caused a slight separation from him.
I think this is why God chooses to forget our transgressions; so He can see us in the image of His perfect and blameless Son.
It is me who remembers and drives a wedge between us. When I drudge up my old failures, I tend to pull back from Him, wondering how I have any claim to His love when I have so many faults.
I saw the same emotions mirrored in my son’s eyes as he awoke that morning. Sleepiness was replaced by love when he focused on my face. Then as he remembered his behavior, guilt and shame flickered across his baby blues before he averted his gaze from mine.
Just as my Father in Heaven does for me, I reached for him and held him close. I had to choose to forgive and forget.
God longs to be in simple fellowship with me, to wrap His loving arms around me and free from the barrier caused by my sin. So He shows me mercy for my unrighteousness and chooses to forget (Hebrews 8:12) for the sake of His only Son’s sacrifice on the cross. This is the New Covenant, the Good News, the Gospel.
And it isn’t just for me, it is available to all who believe it.
He knows we are prone to mess up over and over again, but just like a loving mother He refuses to allow our redeemed mistakes to keep us from Him. He forgives and forgets because He loves us. He shows us mercy because His Son paid the price so that we could be in fellowship with Him despite our sins.
When we confess our iniquities, they are forgiven and removed from us “as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).” We have an obligation to forget them, too, because if we continue our remembering, we are likely to shy away from His presence. We must instead accept His gift of grace and “draw near to God, and He will draw near to [us] (James 4:8),” because in His presence is the fullness of our joy and pleasure forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
Reminiscing about my past mistakes doesn’t make me any more forgiven, but forgetting them leads me to closer fellowship with my Forgiver.
Word of the Day
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:12-13
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank and praise You for the sacrifice of Your Son that won for me salvation and eternity in Your presence. Help me to remember Your great mercy and forget my sins as you forgive me. I long to draw near to you and be held close in Your loving arms. Let nothing separate me from Your love for the sake of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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