His name is Knute. He was a cranky old Norwegian. He joined our caroling party one Advent. We had just finished singing Christmas carols to home bound members and nursing homes and had returned to the church for hot chocolate and snacks. We were all joyful, but Knute (pronounced Ka Nute) was a little too happy. Later that night I found two little empty liquor bottles in the trash in the men’s room. I asked him about that. Not long after that Knute committed himself to a rehab program. He ended up becoming a regular part of our church family.
One of his favorite phrases was, he was having a bad case of the ICR’s—”I can’t remember.” What did I come into this room to get? Did I miss my appointment? What’s her name? Did I write that note? Whatever he’d forget would lead him to say “I have a bad case of the ICR’s.”
I grew to love that man. We talked a lot about life, the church and various elements of faith, and God’s forgiveness in Jesus.
Forgiving ourselves is hard to do. Sometimes we cannot let go of our past mistakes and failures. We cannot forget and feel God won’t either. Yet did you know that God can have a case of the ICR’s? Here are a couple of verses that tell us about God’s forgetfulness.
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accurse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east if from the west.”
“Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean!”
Does God have a memory problem? No, and yes. God never forgets us, never breaks His promises to us. Never forgets to care. Yet, because of Jesus our sins are forgiven. More than that, they are forgotten. Our sins have been thrown into the sea of forgetfulness (Micha 7:19)! Because of Jesus none of us has to fear God’s remembering what we strain to forget. Because of Jesus each day is new, a day to hope and not give up, a day to start over again with a clean slate!
Pastor Bruce Kolasch