What did your 2018 look like? Don't freak out. You read that right. I'm asking if you remember much from nearly 2 years ago. It very well could be that you remember a few monumental things that happened that year. Maybe you bought a house or a car. Maybe you started a new relationship or ended a toxic one. Maybe you attempted a try-out for the Chicago Cubs and are now a starting pitcher getting paid millions of dollars to play the game you love. Ok, more than likely that last one didn't happen (but I'll keep daydreaming about it). All things considered, the odds are that most of us can't remember much that happened last week let alone two years ago. Again, don't freak out. It's something we all struggle with throughout our lives.
While pursuing my Bachelor's Degree, I minored in Psychology purely because the way we as humans work has always fascinated me. One of the courses that I took was on the subject of Abnormal Psychology which involved a few chapters focused exclusively on memory. The unfortunate outcome that I mentioned earlier was a part of a book that our professor recommended titled "The Seven Sins of Memory" which is on my reading list for this year (a little late I know, seeing I graduated 4 years ago). Anyway, the process of forgetting over time is called "Transience Memory" and it is when the brain swaps out older memories to make room for new ones. The more time that goes by between an experience and when you want to remember it, the more likely you are to have forgotten much of it. This is why we have a harder time remembering things that happened 2 years ago. Our memories from 2019 have taken over most of them and more than likely 2020 memories will do the same for our memories of last year. It's not a bad thing necessarily. It's just a flaw in our nature. Or is it?
Isaiah 43:18-19 has the answer. "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." Forgetting is part of being a Christian. For goodness sake, it's what God does every day when we repent! Forgetting isn't a flaw, it's a God-given gift. No, I am not saying that you should be thankful when you forget where you put your keys the morning that you are already late to work. That's just called having a bad day. It does prove my point though. More than likely, you had some bad days in 2018 and probably 2019 too. There is the chance that you remember a few of those specifically, but I can guarantee you can't remember every single one of them. Why? Because we were made to forget the former things. Forget the things that so easily beset (Bible way of saying trip) us. Did you sin in 2018? Yes. Did you repent? Hopefully. Therefore, you can forget. Don't remember the things you did or the things that were done to you years ago and let it keep you from the "New Thing" God wants to do in 2020. If you want to remember something, remember all the times his grace was sufficient and his mercy was made new.
Forget the former things. Look for the new things.