Friday I was in bed recovering from an illness that is best left barely mentioned and then moved on from. I spent a good amount of time watching the History Channel that morning, since I could sit up in bed until that was too exhausting and I had to lay down in bed. What did I watch?
Patton 360. The History Channel did a season where they took the battles and campaigns of General Patton during World War II, combined archival footage with computer graphics and aerial photos and maps to show everything that was happening in each battle. For the record, I find stuff like this fascinating. So often, we learn history only from zoomed out. It's fascinating to hear about how one small group of men in a particular place turned the tide of a moment of a battle that in turn secures….well, that's another post.
What I was noticing as I watched this was how critical the commentators were about some of the decisions made by the leadership of both the Allied and Axis armies in the war. There was one point that I think I heard someone point out that "The enemy is right there! He's walking right into a trap! What's wrong with him?" (I will admit, I can't cite exactly when it happened in the show. It may not have happened, as I wasn't 100% coherent at the time.)
The show commentators seemed to have forgotten that they have access to information that neither Patton, his subordinates, his superiors, nor his enemies had access to. They know where the enemies were, what the supply situations were for both sides. In fact, they've got nearly the whole picture.
Now, this post is entitled hindsight, and you're thinking I'm going to make the point that someday we'll look back with hindsight and understand better what was going on in our lives. Well, that may be true, but my point is actually this one:
God already sees the situation, not with hindsight, but with even more accuracy than the History Channel's 360 degree maps. God knows where all of it is, and where it is right now. There are things that we won't understand until we see it in hindsight, but that God knows it right now. God is aware of your supply situation, where your enemies are, and even what your allies are up to and whether they'll be successful in their endeavors. (One of the things that hurt Patton was that when he could have driven hard into Germany, Allied command gave the limited available fuel to a British plan to go through Belgium and Holland, which failed. Had Patton gotten the resources, he could possibly have been in Berlin before Christmas. Instead, it took until May of the next year to end the war.)
God is already aware of these things. We've got to learn to listen to Him when he speaks, when He guides. We have to learn to trust Him.
Otherwise, people with the opportunity of hindsight will criticize us for what we didn't see, even though we had the benefit of listening to one who knew.