They say hindsight is 20/20, but mine always seems to be a little nearsighted. I look back just far enough to see how things could have been done better or could have turned out better or could have been avoided. My nearsightedness only serves to fill my vision with regrets, frustration, uncertainty for the future, self-pity, and any number of other equally “happy” thoughts.
What’s the cure for this? Well, I can do one of two things. I can either shut my eyes to the past and rush headlong into future regrets, frustrations, etc., or I can expand the scope of my hindsight. I need eyes that look further back than they are naturally inclined to do. The Bible refers to this as remembering.
We measure the condition and course of our lives by minutes and days; God measures and molds our lives by years and decades. We judge the success or failure of our families by lifetimes; God displays His faithfulness and judges our faithfulness by generations. We measure our blessings and sufferings by their immediate effect on our lives; God measures and meets out both taking into account a thousand purposes beyond what we will ever see.
The bigness of God’s promises compels me to look farther ahead with expectant faith for what is to come. The long history of God’s providence compels me to look further back and face current circumstances with patient faith for what is to come.
If the past is a heavy burden or bitter accuser in your life today, let me encourage you to look further back. Look at the past to know the heart and wisdom and power of God who holds your life in His hands. Look back to the cross, the grave, the empty tomb, the ascension to the Father’s right hand, and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. These historical events changed history forever. These historical events purchased us as God’s chosen people and made this history our family history.
Ours is a history of promise, forgiveness, blessing, protection, provision, redemption, freedom, and Christ Himself. From creation to consummation, the history of the world is preparing us for a future kingdom and a future kingdom for us. And all of it under the light of the glory of the Triune God.