Monday, May 07, 2012
Today’s Topic: Clean Memory
Today’s Text: Isaiah 65:17 (NIV) “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
May I begin this morning by asking how it went over the weekend as you intentionally sought to conquer discouragement by forgetting the past? I trust you started to see some victory and a smile is returning to your soul.
But it’s hard to forget, isn’t it? We have been created by God with incredible brains capable of storing countless pieces of information. The human brain consists of about one billion neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections. The neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain’s memory storage capacity to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes).
For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage. Now just think how long it would take to erase all of those discs.
The process of forgetting is difficult. It starts with a choice to trust God with the outcome of every event that is bothering us. Another choice must follow the first one, and that is to begin to act as if we don’t remember what happened, even though we do. Eventually the event will become so insignificant that it will be as if we don’t remember it unless we choose to resurrect it.
The fact that our brains are incapable of truly forgetting anything is a reminder that we must trust God. We trust Him because He has promised not only to provide us with sufficient grace for each day’s trouble, but that He has promise to one day wipe our memories away.
The other day I was doing some computer work for someone and they wanted the memory wiped clean. I got to thinking about that – clean memories. Actually that’s an oxymoron. You cannot have a memory that doesn’t exist. But you can have clean memory capacity.
Have you ever wondered what it was like for Adam when God created him in the Garden of Eden? Did God create him with any memories, or was the storage capacity of his brain completely clean? Or how about this thought: God created the world yesterday with perfectly accurate archaeological records and created the human race with perfect recall memories of all facts. Can anyone prove that couldn’t be true?
Anyway, I wander from the point, which is this: everything that still haunts us in our minds will one day be wiped away when God reboots the entire system. This earth will be destroyed, along with everything in the universe. Once again there will be absolute nothing apart from the spiritual reality of God and the souls of all human beings.
Then, in a grand and glorious event, God will create new heavens and a new earth. It will be inhabited by all those who were saved by the blood of Jesus Christ while on the old earth, while those who rejected Him will be sent to eternal punishment and have nothing to do with life as we will know it. And as a part of the new eternal bodies that we will possess, we will have clean memories. Nothing of the former things will be remembered. They will not pop into our head unexpectedly. There will be absolutely nothing to recall because God will apply His power to forget the past to our lives as well.
This brings an answer to all those who wonder whether or not we will remember things from this life when the new world is created. The answer is no. For now there may be awareness of things from this life for the people who are already in the presence of the Lord – as is the case for all the martyred saints described in Revelation – but when the current heavens and earth are destroyed in God’s final act of judgment against sin, every single memory of the past will be gone.
What an incredible promise that is from our Great and Glorious God. When in His presence, no earthly thing matters. No earthly thing will ever be allowed to disrupt our perfect fellowship with Him.
Now here’s the application for right now while we are still on this earth. Why are we working so hard to remember all that will someday be wiped clean? And how many of our current memories actually restrict our access to the fullness of the presence of God? I truly believe that God designed us intentionally to more easily forget the things of the past the older we get, so that in our last days of life in this sinful world we can more clearly see Him and enjoy His presence. I know that is true of me, and I’m not that old yet.