Hindsight: understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed.
Hindsight is defined by the Oxford dictionary as: understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed.
I am sitting here looking back at my week so far. While attending two graduate courses this semester, working at the church and preparing for my credentialing testing, waiting to start my paying job as a chaplain, attending a Celebrate Recovery picnic, running a separate Celebrate Recovery meeting, finishing up the Spring LifeGroup off island, visiting friends at the hospital, getting my cat’s nails cut and her butt shaved (I know TMI), picking up and watching my grandkids Monday through Friday, running two men’s accountability groups and one “pastors only” support group, researching for school projects all while trying to control my new diagnosis of diabetes and high cholesterol by walking 7,000 – 10,000 steps per day, and I still have to go to church on Sunday and turn in my assignments by midnight.
So why do I feel defeated? Why am I so stressed out? Who can I blame?
I probably didn’t listen to God’s reply in my prayers last week. Prayers? Maybe I didn’t say my prayers with enough emotion. Maybe God isn’t listening to me and I am just trying to fill in His answer myself?
What if I had taken a day off to spend with my wife instead of cramming in another ministry task? Maybe I should have done more? If I had only done more, I wouldn’t feel so stressed out this week.
Oh no! I just remembered that it is my anniversary tomorrow. I forgot to get a gift! I am dead meat! I shouldn’t have taken on so much work. I should have dropped what I was doing and gone to the gift shop to get that special figurine Theresa wanted. I bet they are sold out of them! Just my luck! I could have made her feel special if I had gotten that. I guess now I will have to get us a reservation real quick at Martha’s Kitchen.
Ok, this doesn’t really have anything to do with this topic, but God has put it on my heart to include it.
I just had a crazy thought; If God said, he would not give me more than I can handle, so why am I so wiped out? Why is it that I feel stressed out? Why do I feel like I am getting nowhere? After all I am serving Him practically non-stop! What’s worse, I feel like I am forgetting something. That’s it I must have forgot to do something.
So, why do we look back? Why do we put ourselves down? As if to say “Hey dummy”, (quote from Sanford and Son) (IMDb, 2016, web) “why would you do something stupid like that?” Some may say it is because we want to see what we could have done better. Some may say I want to know what happened or why. I say this all too often, myself. However, what happened in the past is past. We need only to allow Jesus to guide us, look forward, and try to glorify God in all that we do, from this point forward.
God tells us NOT to look back when we have found ourselves in a bad place. 23 The sun was rising when Lot reached Zoar. 24 Suddenly the Lord rained burning sulfur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah 25 and destroyed them and the whole valley, along with all the people there and everything that grew on the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:23-24) He will deliver us out of the valley all the while by our side.
(Sidebar!) I just opened a can of worms that I am sure I can’t close. So, here is my disclaimer: If you choose to read on, you may find that somethings you just cannot unread. I am not making this up, so be prepared to learn what the lie that has been told to you and I for decades.
Alright here it is, GOD NEVER SAID THAT! He never said that he would not give you more than you can handle. In fact: You WILL have times that you can’t handle what God dishes out.
The words that are meant for encouragement can often serve to only create discouragement. Worse yet, this phrase can tempt us to ignore our suffering and pretend it’s not there. It can lead us to believe the lie that we can do it ourselves; that we can handle it. Which raises the question, “If we can handle anything that comes our way, then why do we need God at all?” (Hidalgo,2013,web)
Sure we can learn from our mistakes, but we can’t waste time saying shoulda, coulda, woulda. For each of those familiar statements the answer is, if we had it to do again, we would do the exact same thing. Why? Because we are faulted.
Truth is, unless you actually could go back in time and know the result of your actions, we fit the mold of Einstein’s definition of insanity.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
We need to trust God to lead us, help us grow and bring us to a place where we glorify Him in all that we do. You might say why do I even need God?
Well, Ima gonna tell you why.
The Bible says that Christ reconciled us to God (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:20-21). The fact that we needed reconciliation means that our relationship with God was broken. Since God is holy, we were the ones to blame. Our sin alienated us from Him. Romans 5:10 says that we were enemies of God: “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”
When Christ died on the cross, He satisfied God’s judgment and made it possible for God’s enemies, us, to find peace with Him. Our “reconciliation” to God, then, involves the exercise of His grace and the forgiveness of our sin. The result of Jesus’ sacrifice is that our relationship has changed from enmity to friendship. “I no longer call you servants … Instead, I have called you friends” (John 15:15). Christian reconciliation is a glorious truth! We were God’s enemies, but are now His friends. We were in a state of condemnation because of our sins, but we are now forgiven. We were at war with God, but now have the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). (gotquestions.org, 2016, web)
So, whenever you feel down and out from a mistake or a stumble or feeling stressed out because there is so much on your plate, just know that unless you are “insane”, we must move on, learn from the mistakes, and lean on Jesus to guide us on a path to glorify Him.
God loves you! He sent His child to die on a cross so that you would have hope in Him. His promises are great we need only to believe in Him to guide you through the valley’s and every time you do, you will become that much closer to Him and struggle that much less.
– And if you do, you will never … Ok the Bible doesn’t say that either, but it sure would be catchy. Have a Blessed day everyone. And a very special Happy Anniversary, to the love of my life. Mrs. Theresa Marie Whitcraft, I love you Isha. 🙂