But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2 Peter 3:8 NKJV
This verse never fails to expose my anxiety as the foolish and wicked thing that it is. Time has no power to limit our God. I look at things with a view constrained by mortality, but God has no such constraints. He is the Master of time, not the other way around. And with Christmas fast approaching, I am reminded of the gift that is living in the moment, untethered from past or future.
One of the most powerful components of the love that God poured out on me prior to being born again was being given a clean slate every day. I think that this is the way forgiveness is weaponized by the Spirit. Until we are born again, we carry the whole of our past plus our fear of the future. It is a crippling burden, but forgiveness has the power to alleviate that burden.
The Love in a Clean Slate
Martha, John, Carole and many others gave me a clean slate every day. Did they know who I was and what I’d done? Undoubtedly, but they didn’t treat me like the convict I was. Each day I was given the gift of innocence and it was mine to cherish or destroy. Without Jesus, I could only really destroy it, but with every passing day, it was clearer and clearer to me the difference between my life and the lives of those who had Jesus. The waters weren’t muddied by refighting old battles. Every battle was new, and it became harder and harder to deny that I was the problem. There were fewer and fewer obstacles to the meeting that my Father preordained before the beginning of the world. The clean slate born of daily forgiveness was a weapon I had no defense against and a love that I couldn’t keep out.
Some people are very hard to love with warm affection, or even civilized interest. They demand our rejection with the force of the principality that holds them. The gift of time, a clean slate day-by-day or even moment-by-moment, is a love deeper and more powerful than mere affection. Forgiveness is the love that disarms the most heavily fortressed heart. When a blood-soaked convict is treated with the respect she knows is undeserved, she is thrown for a loop.
A Clean Slate for Christmas
The holidays always bring extra pressure for the unsaved. Ghosts of Christmas Past heap delusion and expectation onto their backs until some of them crack under the weight of it all. We have the privilege of loving people in the moment. We wield forgiveness, unafraid to wade into the midst of dark and terrible countenances. We can be the one person who doesn’t begin every conversation with “Remember when…?”
Maybe a clean slate is a greater gift than any of us realize. I am a woman forgiven. It is an honor and a joy to carry Christ’s own forgiveness to lost souls staggering under the burden of their past and future, prisoners to time unredeemed.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Psalm 90:2 KJV