Thinking today about the Israelites and the hindsight bias that we have in regards to them. We read the Old Testament and see that God always came through for them. And yet, they had no idea what would happen. Like when they were leaving Egypt, they were trapped with the Egyptians on one side and the Red Sea on the other. There was seemingly no way out. And even if there had been a way out, the Israelites probably didn’t imagine that it would come as it did. They start to panic and we (reading it thousands of years later) think, “Just wait for it…okay, in one, two, three…” and voila! The Red Sea parts and they are saved.
We get so stressed out over the events in our lives because we don’t have the advantage of the hindsight bias. If someone looked at my life in about 200 years and read through my journal they would probably say the same thing: “Just wait for it!” God has a purpose in all that He does and He even uses my stupid mistakes somehow. Hindsight bias makes it so easy to see the hand of God and see that He has a purpose in each of the events in my life (or at least can change my mistakes into good) – Lord, help me to be faithful and steadfast despite not being able to see the hindsight bias.
Hebrews 11 is such a great chapter because of the hindsight bias. Yet as those individuals were going through each of those situations, I am sure that they were confused and asked the same questions that we ask today. “God, do You have a plan in this??” “Are You really there??” “Are You even listening??”
How do you become one of those people who simply exude Christ constantly?
Why does God begin to work in a situation and then (seemingly) stop working altogether?
How do you know God’s will for your life?
When will I be able to invest in people as others have invested in my life?
Can you tell the difference between God-given passions that you should pursue, and desires that He asks you to give back to Him in surrender?
How do you remain faithful to people amidst continued hurt and how do you balance that with not being taken advantage of (i.e. various kinds of abuse)?
When I purely long to be with Jesus in Heaven, what purpose do I have for being here on earth?
How do you balance pouring out your life for others and being “spent” on their behalf with having healthy boundaries in your life and spending time alone to be refreshed?
These are some of the questions rolling around in my mind tonight as I prepare for sleep. It’s fall break and I am allowing myself one delicious evening of “Sabbath” before I re-enter the world of homework, to-do lists and e-mails.