- August 21, 2016
- Jessie Tucker Mitchell
There is a treadmill at my gym that seems to have a mind of its own. Some days, I can walk an hour straight with no mishaps. Other times, it will act unpredictably, stopping on its own after a random eighteen minutes, or turning off completely just when I’m hitting my stride. I’m not sure why it does this, though I assume whoever used it before me set some sort of interval timer and did not cancel it when they were finished. Fortunately, I have been friends with this treadmill for years, so I know exactly what to do when it grows temperamental: I stop everything, move around to the front, and flip the red switch on the bottom to start everything over, the previous settings deleted.
You probably can guess where I’m going with this. God can hit a reset button for your life, and all of your sins will be erased. But here’s the thing: You must fully believe that he can do this. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time letting go of the troubles that weigh me down. I can take my worries to God as much as I want, but if I don’t completely leave them with him, then I am not taking advantage of the opportunity to become someone new.
I read a Bible lesson to my children every night, and one lesson in particular has stayed in my mind, though it’s probably been five or six months since I read it. In the lesson, Satan goes to God with all of our mistakes, pointing them out one by one, gleefully highlighting all the bad we have done: losing patience with our kids, speaking unkindly about others, holding a grudge against someone who hurt us two decades ago. Just one of those sins, Satan says, is worth God punishing us severely. Then Jesus steps forward. “But I already died for that sin,” he says. And just like that, Satan is left speechless. And, even better, he remembers that he already has been defeated.
When we sin, we deserve punishment. If you’re like me, you make mistakes all day long, and by the time you climb into bed at night and flip off the lamp, you feel the weight of a million transgressions on your shoulders. It seems no prayer can capture how desperately you seek forgiveness, how badly you want to the next morning to be a new beginning, a fresh start, with today’s mistakes wiped clean. I forget, over and over again, that they already have been, thanks to Jesus Christ, and that holding on to them separates me from God. As the band MercyMe tells us in their song “Dear Younger Me: “You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross.” When we take our mistakes to God, he wants us to leave them there. Jesus already was punished for them. God already hit the reset button; we already have a fresh start.
I pray today that if you are hesitating about letting God “reset” your life, you will let go and allow him to work miracles. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” No sin, no matter how huge, can keep you from being forgiven