Have you ever heard people tell you “don’t go through life looking in the rearview mirror”, or “look at life through the windshield, not the rearview mirror”. Now, if the rearview mirror was not truly beneficial why do we have one? Many time we come to a dead end in our life and in order to get out we must backup using the rearview mirror. Sometimes we are parked and we need to use the rearview mirror to back up. But if you are a guy you probably used the rearview mirror to back into the parking space to begin with so you can pull straight out. The guy example does not fit my analogy or make any sense to me so just throw that out. Anyway, from a biblical view it is critical to look in the rearview mirror. Just like it’s critical in driving. If you don’t look back there would be an enormous amount of accidents or you would be stuck in the same place for a really long time.
So why do we have to look back? I can’t begin to go into all the benefits of looking back in one blog but I will hit a few of the most important ones in my opinion.
If you don’t look back how can you share your testimony?
If you don’t look back how can you learn from your mistakes?
If you don’t look back how can you strive to have the life you once had?
If you don’t look back how will you know you need a better life?
If you don’t look back history would never be known.
If you don’t look back no one would know Jesus is Lord.
If God didn’t look back He would have broken all His covenants and promises.
There are surprisingly a lot of verses in the bible on the importance of remembering the past. I have listed just a few of those verses with their benefit.
- Some things are intentionally brought up from your past by the Holy Spirit to teach you. (John 14:26 “but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”)
- Remembering what God has done for you gives you strength.(Isaiah 46:9 “Remember (to draw strength by contemplating God’s past acts of power) the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.”)
- Remembering the things we have done and the ways we all fall back into sin daily that it is deserving of death helps us to appreciate even more God’s mercy. (Deuteronomy 9:7-8 “Remember, do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness…you have been rebellious against the LORD. …you provoked the LORD to wrath, and the LORD was so angry with you that He would have destroyed you.)
- Remembering the things of your past brings you to repentance and a right relationship with God. (Revelation 2:5 ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first;)
- Remembering the past gives you hope. (Lamentations 3:21-24 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”)
It is my opinion that we do not actually look in the review mirror enough. It’s been 5 ½ years now that we have been in Haiti and what I wouldn’t give to go back and have written down more of what all God has done and taught us during those years. Looking back I know that God gave us supernatural strength during those first few years to manage all the tasks he had for us. He gave us trials to teach us and to help us be able to then teach other’s so the same mistakes are not made. He has given us grace daily for those many times we loose our temper or don’t do the things he wants us to do. He sat and listened to us whine and cry countless days. He reminded us on lots of occasions of His calling for us to be here when life got hard and we began to waiver. But more than anything He continued through it all to give us enough hope to keep moving forward. I don’t know about you but I sure could use some more strength and hope and if remembering what God’s done for me in the past will give me that then I’m doing it. So don’t tell anyone not to look back. In fact, encourage them too look in that rearview mirror often because it could be just what they need to keep moving!