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The Lord said: Forget what happened long ago! Don’t think about the past. Isaiah 43:18 (CEV)

I have a friend who was in a snowmobile accident that nearly took his life. His injuries were so severe that both of his legs had to be amputated. As he lay in a coma for six weeks, our community gathered around him and his family in prayer for physical healing as well as spiritual healing.

His wife tells me that the day they were planning on bringing him out of his medically induced coma was a day of apprehension. My friend was known for a foul mouth and extreme anger. Everyone prepared for the worst when he would wake up and find he had no legs.

The other day, I sat with this friend in a men’s Bible Study. You wouldn’t have known this new person beside me. Miraculously, he woke up from his sleep and entirely new man. There was no anger, no rage and no profanity. In its place were words of comfort, of love, of grace and forgiveness.

My friend owns a hardware store in the tiny community where I live. He sells all sorts of goods a hardware store would sell, but there’s one other commodity you can count on when you enter the doors of his store. You’ll find Jesus.

At the earlier mentioned Bible study our group as discussing the personal meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Listening to him talk about the newness of life he received gave me a whole new meaning to that verse. Here he was, a man that had to learn to walk again. A man who, in many ways, had to learn an entirely new lifestyle. Ask anyone in town. They’ll tell you Bill isn’t the same as he used to be. He isn’t. He’s new. His life has been touched by the Savior.

It wasn’t easy. He stumbles on those new legs occasionally. The pressures of being a business man sometimes cause the ‘old man’ to start to surface. But he’s still not ‘the same old Bill.’

God’s word reminds us in Isaiah 43:18 that our past is just that. Past. Regardless of what happened back there. Regardless of whose fault it was. Regardless of who did what, or said what or did what to you, it’s past.

Jesus offers the only real solution to starting over and he does it with a whole new life.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, there are times when I stumble. There are times when the pain in my heart, from the mistakes of my past, haunts me. During those times let me rest on the promise of your grace. Help me to set my past behind me and look forward to a new tomorrow. Amen.

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