When… You Remember the Worst of the Past
“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19
It’s been a while now. I received an odd email. Basically, it said, “I know what you did. You can’t hide it and I have your contact list.” It went on to vaguely threaten to “tell everyone” unless I paid money. Yes, it was a scam. But I’m guessing if you received the same email there would have been a momentary twinge. “How can they know that?” “I thought that was a secret!” I will admit, in my head and in the pit of my stomach I reacted. How many of us have pictures from “back then” we though had been ripped up? How many of us has said something once in a group that today would be embarrassing or offensive?
After my momentary twinge of guilt or fear I deleted the email and prayed, “Thank You God.” Yes, I prayed a prayer of thanks because, “I know You have forgiven me for every failure and misstep, every embarrassing and shameful moment. Thank You, Lord.” Then I moved on.
I remember talking with a friend who attends Alcoholics Anonymous who says, “We are only as sick as our secrets.” Secrets are bad, no doubt. I’m not talking about crimes. But sometimes we remember the worst of our past. Sometimes we have come to believe that we are defined by those things. We are responsible for everything we do, say and forget to do and say. And we do live the consequences of our actions and inactions. However, we are not defined by these things, because God is always doing a new thing.
The “new thing” God does is to forgive. The “new thing” God does when we turn back to the light is to shine on our path and give us a “new way.” God’s Grace transforms us into a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) We can look forward in hope. We need not “look back” to be defined by our past.
God is doing a new thing. Jesus fulfilled that promise. He is the new way.