"I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you."
Guilt & shame tend to be big stumbling blocks for many of us. We all have parts of our past that we're not proud of. Times we've completely blown it. Moments we've not only let ourselves & others down, but God as well. Often we're able to overcome these events & move forward... but occasionally we don't. Sometimes they're so big, so life-altering, that we're never the same again. Ever.
Yet even when we can move on from our past sins & failures, they often cling to the dark corners of our conscience. They may not make much noise or cause many commotions. But they're there. And we know it. They cast a cloud over our soul... reminding us of their secrets or deep shame.
We were not meant to live int he grip of our past sins. As beloved children of God, we have been forgiven, cleansed, and redeemed. Isaiah 44 uses imagery we in Hawaii are acutely aware of: clouds & mist. I remember living in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as a high school student. Many afternoons the clouds would roll in a a gentle, light mist would fall down upon us. We knew it was raining, but it didn't really feel like rain at all. It was fabulous!
God has swept away our failures like clouds blowing through the Big Island. Our sins, which we once felt were so big, have become like a fleeting midst through the power of God's forgiveness... never to return. Our response? Simply to come back to God, wholeheartedly. We've been redeemed. We need not cower in shame & guilt any longer. We have been set free. Hallelujah!