Imagine looking at a huge hillside that is covered with bright white snow and in the middle of all the bright white snow you see a huge burnt spot where someone had been burning a campfire. Or imagine being at a football or baseball stadium for a night game and the above stadium lights shine brightly, but you notice a few of the lights burnt out amid all the other bright lights.
Even in the midst of bright lights and bright snow, darkness lurks. Even though the dark spots might not be big compared to all the bright light or snow, them seem to draw attention from the crystal clear white snow and the bright vibrant lights.
That is sort of how sin distorts our view. I can look back on a couple pieces of my past during my Navy days and when I went through a bad spot when I left ministry in 2003. These two times small time periods that were dark spots in my life, seem to take my focus away from the many experiences and time that were light, pure, spotless, and positive. I've had many times where I felt the presence of God and was walking in the Light and living in the pure white snow, but my present mind seems to go back to those little dark spots. I know God has forgiven me, I know He can still use me, and I know there is no mistake that I can't learn from and be better because of. but still Satan tries to trick my mind into thinking I'm not good enough, not worthy, or God can't use me.
Satan likes to ignore the big field of white snow and notice the small campfire spot, He likes to ignore the 50 or 60 brightly lit stadium bulbs and notice the few burnt out ones. God sees nothing but bright lights with none burnt out and a pure hill of snow with no blemishes. When we see our past sin or Satan reminds us of our past failures, all God's sees is Jesus. His Blood. His Sacrifice. The Cross!
We can't change the past, we can't go back and have do-over's. We can apologize to the people we've hurt, we can change our ways, we can turn from sin and repent, and we can move forward with our lives, but most of all, we need to start believing what we hear in church and read in the bible. We need to start exercising our faith and realize that when God forgives us, our sins are no more. That God doesn't see our past, even when we do. I don't think we should forget our past, so we don't make the same mistake again, and we need a reminder of God's grace, but at the same time, we can't live in the past any longer.
Let God do his job and forgive us and make us pure as snow and let us live in the light of God. Let's do our job by moving forward, forgiving as we've been forgiven, and not focusing on our past, but focusing on the present to move toward the future, eternity.