Hindsight

I believe in the Bible as absolute truth.
I believe in the inerrancy of the Word. I believe that the men who contributed to writing the books of the Bible were inspired by God and so the words are not theirs but His.
I don’t understand it all, nor do I pretend to.
This morning, I poured a cup of coffee, hunkered down in my comfy chair, and read His Word. When I was finished, I laced up my shoes, took my lovely pup on a walk, and thought, “Lord, increase my faith! I’m missing something. I don’t understand what I read.”
Often when I read Scripture, I know that it will take a few days and more in-depth research to begin to understand. But that was exactly how the disciples were. Jesus would share a parable, speak to the people in riddles, and walk away. The disciples were often left looking at one another in confusion and dismay before running to catch up with the Teacher.
“Hey, what was that supposed to mean?” they asked.
I imagine that Jesus would turn to face them, a broad smile in place. “To you has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven…”
We must move beyond just a cursory reading of the Bible. It is not intended to give us warm fuzzies (although often we can experience great joy and peace as we abide in His Word). We are to search, to seek, to knock, to ask…to keep on doing these until He comes.
This morning as I asked Him to show me His truth, I had a thought:
We have the great privilege of hindsight with a large portion of Scripture. For example:
Isaiah 53 outlines how Jesus will die, and why. It was written not only long before Jesus was born, but before crucifixion had ever been invented or used. How confusing this portion of Scripture must have been to the Jews that studied it in the generations before Christ was born and the prophecy fulfilled.
But – Oh! – what a joyous revelation that must have been after His resurrection! To see Isaiah as the completed prophecy, to SEE, to understand. This they had longed for without understanding but with faith they had pressed on in their acceptance of that portion of Scripture.
How does this apply to us today? What are we missing that will be made clear if we only press on?
A David Crowder song says “There is no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.”
I thought on that for a long time the other day. I thought of the many hurting people around the world.
The families of those killed at the hands of vicious terrorists.
The families of those killed at the hand of a sick and selfish pilot.
The people picking up the pieces of natural disasters that have ravaged their homes and lives.
I thought of the pain and suffering in my own circle.
I thought of my friend and her kids, aching with the void of her husband, their father.
I thought of Kara Tippets, and the void she has left-but how grateful I am that she shared her suffering and end so boldly!
I thought of friends with children who are sick – terrible sick.
I thought of friends suffering from the emptiness of their strained marriages.
A cynical heart could say: sorrow is everywhere. How can you say it will be healed?
Isaiah 35:10 gives such a beautiful answer:
“And the ransomed of the LORD will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
With everlasting joy upon their heads.
They will find gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
We may not understand. We may not know how-in the midst of this pain we suffer-this could ever be true. How many things have been promised that we cannot conceive? Too many to list.
Just imagine with me the joy we will share as His promises–the ones that will come whether we believe or not– unfold before us. The mysteries will be unraveled, our questions will be answered.
So press on. Hold tight to the promises of God.
Press on. Ask, seek, knock. Those who ask will be answered. Those who seek will find. Those who knock will have the door opened to them.
Chase after Him. Ask Him to explain. In His infinite wisdom and grace, He will answer.

B.D. Riehl is the award winning author of The Earth is Full and The Heavens are Telling, both available on Amazon and at Family Christian Bookstores Boise, Idaho.
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