Grief. That’s what I feel as I read and reflect on the account of Mrs. Lot. To me, it’s a perfect visual of just how short and unpredictable this life really is.
We humans are prideful and naive; forgetting how fragile we really are and how limited our time is. We take it all for granted if we’re not careful. We’re so quick to let our hearts and minds be ruled by emotions or desires; things of this world whether tangible or circumstantial, which are actually so very trivial.
“But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26
I’ve heard many theories on what it was that caused Mrs. Lot to look back. Regardless of what “it” actually was, my theory is that doesn’t matter so much as what “it” represents. I believe that would be anything and everything that wasn’t of God; be it possessions— petty trinkets that fashioned a worldly sense of wealth, or a lifestyle that she’d been accustomed to, or it could even represent something painful that she experienced while there— something she hadn’t released yet.
Perhaps she had even convinced herself that she had let it go and one last glance back was her way of getting closure on it. But that one last look would end in death. In truth, unless we purpose not to, there will always be another last glance back. That’s how the enemy gets us and we sabotage ourselves.
Her decision to look back didn’t affect just her, though. It left her husband a widower and her daughters motherless; a devastating choice that would undoubtedly have a painful domino effect following it.
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:15-17
And this is where my heart cries, because how often do we all do this? How often do I do this? The convicting pit in my stomach as I type, the one that I felt begin to form the more I read over this story— reminds me that I’m no saint, and I do this far more than I even realized.
How is it we’re so blind and we lose sight of what in this world is actually of true value? The only thing in this world of value is people, relationships. Everything else is insignificant.
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:14
We’re not promised tomorrow. Life can change in a moment, I’ve seen it and it does. The question I hear the Lord asking me,
“Is it worth it?”
Is it worth it to look back? To hold on? To regret? To value possessions over people? To hang onto the bad and forfeit all the good?
Possessions that we put our value in, won’t love us back and we can’t take them with us. The lifestyle we desire is a counterfeit for what we’re denying ourselves in Christ. The loss we allow to hold us captive prevents us from experiencing true peace. The person we feel justified to hold in contempt, whether it be for a moment or a decade, who we love but hurt us so deeply and we hang on to their offense, could be gone tomorrow. We could be gone tomorrow. Again the question begs,
“Is it worth it?”
Of course the answer is “No.” Tears betray my false mask of strength, which is actually pride in disguise, when I consider everything I hold onto. None of it is worth it. Perspective is everything. I’d rather look ahead surrendered and loving, than looking back holding on and hurting.
God is a God of love, peace and order. It isn’t His will for us to live “looking back.”
Lord, I surrender!
I’m done looking back. I choose fix my eyes only on things eternal. On Him.
“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. Selah” Psalms 39:4-5
Read more on Lot’s wife with us on our Learning from Their Examples series:
Heather Whidden loves Jesus, is married to her best friend and is mother of 3 blessings. She is a professional photographer and has a heart for ministry. She loves spending time with her family and friends, writing, reading, and traveling. Time and people is what she values most. You can read more about her here.