Providence is 20/20

Considering Hindsight

There is a common expression: “Hindsight is 20/20”. This expression describes the great clarity of detail surrounding events when viewed from one in the future looking into the past versus a less clear picture of known details in the midst of an event. The use of “20/20” is a term associated with vision, describing crispness and clear vision.

The practical side of this expression is the truth that, in absolute fairness to those forced to make difficult decisions under difficult circumstances it is difficult for one to judge a decision that proved to be wrong without having the benefit of knowing the eventual outcome. One can look back and sit in judgment having the benefit of the entire picture, when such a picture was not known at the time.

This idea has been proven by history and with the second-guessing of those who lived long after the times of difficult decisions had to be made by people such as national leaders. However, in a similar way, much about the Providence of God can be seen in a similar fashion.

Considering God’s Providence

The reality of Providence cannot be disputed. First and foremost, the grand demonstration of Providence on the part of God was shown in the coming of His Son, requiring direction of peoples and the raising and lowering of entire nations. Second, there is no purpose to prayer without Providence as, if God were unwilling to at times influence events in man, what would the purpose of such requests even be?

The important thing to remember is that it is God’s will that is foremost in all things. “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counselor has informed Him?” is asked in Isaiah 40:13 (NASU). The answer is simple: no one, because God is the ultimate authority. In terms of how man chooses to live his life and plan, James offers the wise: “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that” (4:15).

Just like hindsight, Providence is 2020 when viewed looking into the past of our lives. We may not see the directing hand of God in our lives in the moment, nor may be even agree with the answer God gives us in our requests of prayer. It can actually sometimes be dangerous to assume that a particular decision is “directed” by God more than by our own desires. But as we look back over our lives, those who have come to Christ cannot deny the reality that God has worked and continues to work in our lives, each and every day.

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