Contemporary English Version (CEV)
When we try to imagine something new, we often end up with something resembling the old, because our minds work that way -- we're rooted in the past, and it's hard to break free from the ruts we are in. It reminds me of the sign in Alaska that warns the traveler on a rarely-traveled road, Choose your rut carefully, because you'll be in it for the next 50 miles.
So often, when we try and break free from our sinful ways on our own, we return to the well-traveled road of our previous sin despite our best intentions. It's what we know, and when we get scared or uncertain, we return to what is comfortable, no matter how much it may threaten our well-being. Addiction (to anything) relies on us returning to previous patterns.
When God creates, it is truly from scratch -- there was no template that reminded God to put the sky somewhere and the water somewhere else. God's creativity was not limited by what had come before.
In the same manner, when God re-creates, doing a work within us to redeem us from sin, God is not limited by the sin that was there -- it is gone, vanished, cast into the depths of the sea. We are truly free, and the grace of God imagines a future that is untainted by our previous sin, freeing us to enjoy fully the goodness and love and mercy of God. When we wonder if God can truly forgive, we are using our human minds to limit what God can do.
In our baptism, we are washed clean, restored, redeemed, forgiven. May the past be gone. May God's mercies, anew today, lead you forward into a new future, unbound by what has come before us.