The woman gathered up her tunic with one hand and grabbed her daughter’s arm with her other hand and started running. She hadn’t moved this fast in some time and knew it once her breaths became labored while struggling to keep up with her husband and daughters.
After two strange men had come to see her husband, Lot had rushed the family out of their spacious home through the streets of Sodom. As they exited through the city’s gates Lot’s words rang through her head, “Don’t look back!”
The sons-n-law where warned, but they mocked her husband and refused to come. She struggled up the mountain as beads of sweat formed around her hairline leading her further and further away from her home, family, and friends.
Lot’s wife slowed a bit to catch her breath. What was so wrong living in Sodom, she thought. How can a huge city be destroyed with its wall of defense. What about her friends and family? How can she leave her home like this.
The woman looked up towards her retreating family and realized they had already gained some distance from her. The visitors had said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
Unbearable sadness swept over her as she slowly turned around for one last look at her beloved city.
I’m sure most of you know the ending of this story. When Lot’s wife turns around to look at Sodom, she becomes a pillar of salt.
I’ve been thinking about Lots’ wife and why she would do what she did. How many times have I looked back and thought, “I don’t want to do this.” And allowed myself to remain in the past, not wanting to move forward in my life.
Never looking back allows us to move forward without repeating old patterns.
It happens to all of us. I think some of it is I don’t want to embark on something new that I haven’t experienced. The unknown is scary especially when I have no idea what the outcome will be. Lot’s wife paid a steep price with her life for not following instructions.
Will I be like her and let fear and lies reason me out of what God has for me? God never promised life on Earth would be easy, but He did promise that He would be with me every step of the way.
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” — C.S. Lewis
Lot’s wife is only mentioned three times in the bible, Genesis 19:15-17, Genesis 19:26, and last, Jesus referenced her in Luke 17:32 saying, “Remember Lot’s wife!”
Luke 17:33 – “Whoever seeks to keep his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life shall preserve it.”
For Jesus to refer to Lot’s wife, He must have wanted to really stress the point of not going backwards. And how is it possible that you should lose your life in order to preserve it?
Maybe what God is trying to communicate to me is yes, it will be hard to step into a new situation that I have never been in before. But, if I don’t take that step of faith forward, my life will become stagnant.
Do I want to lose my purpose in life and find myself aimlessly wondering around feeling lost? No, not really. As one of my friends repeatedly says to me, “Suck it up, Buttercup!”
“When the past calls, let it go to voicemail. It has nothing new to say and you don’t have to listen. Would you really dig into yesterday’s garbage to make tonight’s meal? Do you dig into yesterday’s mental garbage to create today’s experiences?” – Louise Hay
Reliving memories can be uplifting from time to time and learning from the past can help me in the present day. But too much looking back into the past can drag me down and hold me back.
Today, I’m telling myself that I do not want to be a pillar of salt. I want to be a living woman of God who thrives on the adventures that God sends her, and without trepidation who will muster up all the faith she has to trust God in every step she takes forward.
“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.” – Suzy Kassem
What’s stopping you from moving forward in your life? Fear, anger, rejection, or maybe sadness? My word to you is, stand tall. Look forward with great expectation that God has something new and beautiful for you. Gold needs to be refined by using high temperature to get rid of the impurities in order for it to be beautiful. This is what God wants to do in your life, refine you, take you through some tough times and have you come out being this beautiful person inside!
Lord, I’m scared of what may be ahead of me. Please remind me that you’re near me, comfort me when I feel run down. When I want to turn around, encourage me with your war cry to persevere in every step I take forward leading me to victory.
Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you.”
Image by: Liudmila Chernetska