By Peggy Still—
At the top right hand corner of my laptop is a delete button. I use it often. When making a spelling mistake, hit delete. A grammatical error, hit delete. Changed my mind, hit delete. Mistakes can be wiped off the screen as if they never existed. But we all now know that even when we “delete,” the information remains hidden somewhere in the mysterious memory of our computer. I am reminded how much my laptop is like the human brain. It has the capacity to store good things, and also the capacity to store old mistakes in the deep recesses of our mind.
Henri Bergson, the French philosopher, once said, “It is the function of the brain to enable us not to remember, but to forget.” Apparently my mind is working overtime in the forgetting area these days! But there is a real difference between being forgetful and being able to forget painful memories. God is the only reliable source to healthy forgetting and creative remembering. He tells us that when we seek forgiveness, He no longer remembers our past, essentially hitting the “delete” button. When we know God has deleted our sins and failures, we can erase them from our minds.
Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth…I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NRSV)
It would be great to delete bad memories that disturb me, never to be remembered again. O how I want to erase life’s mistakes correcting them with the click of a button. As I contemplate this wonderful thought, I am reminded how the Lord has built into each of us a “delete” button. It is called forgiveness. When we accept His forgiveness, we are able to forgive ourselves, and then from the assurance of His grace, forgive others. By reliving our past mistakes, and not accepting God’s forgiveness, we hinder the next thing that He has for us. His recommendation, “hit delete!”
Peggy is embarking on a new career in mid-life. A featured speaker for women’s groups and retreats, she is the author of hundred of devotionals and articles in a variety of areas of interest to women. Married to Mark for 36 years, they have one daughter and raised two foster children. Peggy and Mark make their home in southern California.