I’m not a professional coach by any stretch of the imagination, but when I’m watching a game I find myself second guessing the coach or a particular strategy being utilized. That’s part of the enjoyment of the game, wondering about the “what ifs”. I was watching The Ohio State Buckeyes football team, it was an exciting game with quite a few “I’m not sure about that” moments. They did hold on and eventually pulled away for the win. With the win, maybe some questionable decisions are forgotten about, but if they would have lost the game maybe those same decisions would have been discussed and scrutinized for days and weeks.
We’ve all heard the saying “hindsight is 20/20”.
I can imagine there are those that look at decisions we’ve made as a missionary family (like moving to the Dominican Republic) and think to themselves “I’m not sure about that”. The truth is we have all done this at one time or another, wondering within ourselves if this is the right decision for ourselves or for someone else. You see, we make hundreds and thousands of decisions, some are very simple while others are much more complicated and significant. We make all these decisions without the ability to “replay” or go back for a “redo”, we make decisions in real time in the flow of everything going on in our lives.
Even the decisions we make that we may think are minor or insignificant by themselves actually lead to, or are even connected to, decisions from the past and/or decisions we have not made yet. In our journey to the mission field we made multiple decisions that were not connected to becoming a missionary (getting out of debt being one of them) at least we didn’t think they were at the time. It’s impossible for any of us to know the way God will use the decisions we are making today. Even our bad decisions are not beyond the scope of God’s intended good purposes!
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
As the Bible instructs Christ followers to “consider the cost” of a life committed to following Christ or prods us to sit down and think about whether we have what’s necessary to finish or accomplish a particular task, like building a tower…
…the Bible also instructs us to “walk by faith and not by sight”.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
I can understand how at first glance these instructions may seem to be at odds with each other. But are they?
We may think that “faith” is juxtaposed to “consider the cost”, but in reality they work in perfect harmony together. God does not contradict himself, therefore the responsibility to understand how they compliment each other falls to us as Christ followers. Faith is not walking blindly, but walking with confidence in Christ, into those things we have already “considered the cost”.
The word consider means “to think carefully”. The word faith means “that firm belief of God’s testimony”. Once we as Christ followers have thought carefully, we walk in firm belief of God’s testimony, understanding we will not know everything. With our limited understanding we “consider” and through His perfect provision we walk by “faith”.
Our family has experienced this harmony through a variety of circumstances. The experiences we have in life are not limited to a finite period of time, like a day, a week or even a year. Looking back we can see how God has used the circumstances and decisions of our lives to guide us to where we are today.
If we possessed perfect understanding we wouldn’t need to consider the cost or walk by faith, it’s the very lack of perfect understanding that necessitates these actions. These are principles designed for humanity, these have no application for God who knows everything. There is no “hindsight” with God! Once in heaven, we will no longer need to consider the cost or walk by faith, we will see and know.
We can’t afford to live in doubt, take heart and be encouraged to be strong and courageous in the Lord!