Looking Back

NOTE: I am a movie buff…okay, I said it…not that you couldn’t already have guessed that by my post on the movie Airplane! But it’s true I do enjoy watching a good movie, or even a bad movie or sometimes any movie with Bruce Campbell. Often in my blog posts I will be drawing from events that take place in the course of a movie, as is the case today.

I love the Back to the Future movies…all three of them…even the second one I really like.  One of the major plot points in the second and third movies…(though strangely not mentioned AT ALL in the first one, probably my one real complaint about the sequels) is that the main character Marty McFly hates to be called a chicken…(or yellow…but that was only in the old west.)  Marty hates it so much he’ll do any foolish thing he’s dared to do just to prove he is not a coward. Towards the end of the third movie, after Marty has learned that he can’t live his life worrying about what other people think of him, he is challenged to a race in his new truck but his friend, er…acquaintance I guess, Needles (Also strangely not at all mentioned in the first movie, but that’s a moot point now) Instead of racing him at the next green light Marty rev’s the engine and slams the truck into reverse. While “Needles” and his truck full of goons goes racing ahead, Marty goes backwards, avoiding the race all together.

Looking back over his shoulder Marty watches as Needles barely misses getting hit by a Rolls Royce, then he realizes he would have hit the Rolls if he had raced Needles. Then there’s the ending where Doc builds a time machine out of a train and Marty and Jennifer meet Doc’s creepy kids, but that’s not important right now. The point is…(you were beginning to wonder if there was a point weren’t you?)

The point is just like Marty was able to look back behind him and see what would have happened if he had raced Needles. As Christians we can all look back and see how God has worked in certain situations in our lives.

God works in ways we will never understand fully, the Bible tells us that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. (Is. 55:9) so to say God ought to do this… because that’s what we would do in that situation would be foolish and naive.  When you look back on certain situations you have been through in the past where you prayed for something in particular to happen and it didn’t happen the way you thought it would or should, maybe now you can look back on it and see how God was working to bring about a better, more holy, purpose than you could imagine at the time.

Life is hard…it probably doesn’t take you very long to think of a painful experience in your life…and maybe you still don’t understand how God was using THAT situation for good, for His purposes;  I mean lets face it, there is all kinds of pain in the world…death, disease, divorce…(lots of really unpleasant things seem to start with the letter “d”) but all those bad things are just symptoms of a much larger problem…


…and God cannot tolerate sin. The primary aspect of God mentioned in the Bible is His holiness not His love as some would have you believe) and so to get a better understanding of His love we have to look at it through the filter of His holiness.

I occasionally watch a show called Ghost Hunters**…which has an oddly repetitive format…(”Look I saw a shadow”…run, run, run…”Oh, it’s not there anymore” repeat ad infinitum) One of the tools they use to find “ghosts” is called a full spectrum camera. It shoots in all the spectrums of light that is invisible to the naked eye.  (It’s a really cool camera that I’d like to play with for a few hours…) We cannot always see what will bring the most glory to God in the long run with our naked eye…but God can, he can see it all, and not only does He see us in our current state he sees our future and he knows and does what is best…always.

Some people will mistakenly think that if something bad is happening in their life it’s because of something they’ve done and God is somehow punishing them. “Well, I fudged the numbers on my taxes so that’s why my wife is leaving me.”  I would say “your wife is leaving you because you never talk to her and treat her like a stranger in her own house.”

God never punitively punishes His children…

The Bible tells us “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

That’s not to say our sinful actions won’t have natural consequences…you lying about your tax numbers isn’t what caused your wife to leave you but it may cause Uncle Sam to audit you.

Sin always eventually destroys everything it touches and God in his grace won’t allow the souls of His children to be destroyed by sin. And while God doesn’t usually work in ways we can understand I can assure you that they are for good if you are a child of God. One day we’ll be able to look back and see exactly how God was keeping us safe from sin.

** Yeah, I know a show about Ghosts doesn’t seem like a good and righteous show to be watching…but a what show is really? Except really old reruns of the Walton’s maybe…and secondly I do believe that there is supernatural activity in the world. The Bible says that
 “Satan walks the earth like a lion looking for those whom he may devour.” While I do not believe the people on the show are chasing ghosts of people who have lived, I believe they are chasing demons, disguised as people who have lived which makes the show even creepier if you think about it. Plus they run around in some really cool old buildings and that’s my favorite part..


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