No Nasty Memory
We all have such trouble with our memories. Painful or disappointing experiences of the past which we cannot shake. People we find it hard to forgive. Dark experiences which still bring on the scowl.
We need to take many hard and long looks at Jesus and the mighty reservoir of forgiveness available to Him. We need to supplicate for the mercy of forgiveness.
Take a look at the story of the morning visit and breakfast on the beach after the resurrection (John 21). Some of the disciples had had a rough night at fishing. A man calls out to them from the shore, "Children, have ye any meat?" They answer in the negative, and he suggests that they toss nets again over the other side. There is then a miraculous haul. John recognizes that "it is the Lord".
Peter in his excitement leaps out and strides the waves to be the first one to the Master's side. I suspect that the others graciously held back so that their ring-leader could have a private moment.
That moment holds precious treasure for us! In three exchanges Jesus asks His friend "Do you love me?" Present tense. These three opportunities were gladly taken to flush out the pain of the three cowardly denials of a few days earlier. Jesus does not refer to that abandonment by Peter. It is forgiven. Eternal Life has a much more charitable agenda. The here and now is the thing. Do you love me? Oh yes, Master, most definitely.
I am reminded of a passage in Micah 7:
18Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
19He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Let these thoughts rise to the surface the next time we have an episode of nasty memory or self-condemnation.