To start over fresh with her family in a new land with God.
To be a mother and a wife.
But she threw it all away with one single glance.
One glance behind her into the past.
And because of that one glance her plans were shattered, her future was gone, and she became a pillar of salt.
The story of Lot’s wife is dramatic to be sure.
It seems unreal and out of the world.
But the truth is there are many people who have become just like her, maybe not physically, but mentally and spiritually.
People who have a purpose and a destiny that God call them to fulfill.
People with ambitions, hopes, and dreams.
People who, like Lot’s wife throw it all away by doing exactly what she did: look back.
Sure, unlike her their hearts might still be beating and their lungs are still breathing but they are no longer walking forward in life.
They are no longer pursuing their dreams.
Instead they are stuck in the same place they have been for years… looking back to something that has once been.
The past is a good place to visit sometimes.
I like to go there once in a while as I flip through old picture albums, re-read past journals, and recall memories with my friends.
I like to go there at the beginning of each new year to reflect back on the changes and growth that took place and what new goals I should set for the upcoming year.
But I don’t ever let myself go back and re-live it every day because I know that there are times in my past that I need to let go of and forget.
Times when people close to me hurt me.
Times when I had shortcomings and disappointments with myself.
Times when I failed, missed opportunities, and made mistakes.
It is these times that if not forgotten as quickly as they are recalled that can stop me dead in my tracks.
It is these moments that try to keep me stuck in the pain of my past and make me forgot the purpose of the present.
It is these moments that make me want to recall my past disappointments with others, with life, and with myself and forget my future destiny with Christ.
God specifically told Lot and his family to not look back when they were fleeing Sodom and Gomorah.
Why? I’m not quite sure.
But I think it’s because if they looked back then maybe they would have thought twice about leaving.
Maybe they, like the Israelites, would prefer to live in the darkness of the past that they were so comfortable in than in the light of the present that God was guiding them into.
In Philippians Paul says that we run the race to make it to the end but how in the world will we cross the finish line if we keep looking back?
When I see runners run a marathon there is only one place they look: ahead.
They don’t look to the side where they can get sidetracked.
They don’t look back where they can get stuck or run into obstacles that they fail to see.
They keep their eyes focused on what mattered to them most: the goal.
And each one of us must remember to do the same.
There are times in our past that God wants us to let go of and forget.
He doesn’t want us to re-live past hurts and heartaches because they will only keep us chained up as prisoners.
Every time we go back to the pain of our past we are just re-opening a wound that He is trying to heal.
Sometimes I wonder…
How many appointments have I missed for God to work in my life because I was too busy holding onto disappointments of my past?
How many times have I been blind to the glorious future God is preparing for me because I was so focused on recounting the troubles of the past?
How many beautiful moments with people that I love have I simply let pass me by because I was so fixated on people that hurt me from the past?
How many goals have I left unmet because instead of running forward I decided to take a step back?
The past can be a wonderful place with lovely memories to revisit… or it can be a dangerous place.
A place that can keep you stuck for life… if you just take that look back.
One that destroys the potential of a new future with Christ.
One that destroys your hopes and dreams.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want my past to rob me of my future.
I know there are far greater things ahead than the things I left behind.
I know that God can use even the worst heartaches, disappointments, and scars to grow me and make something beautiful out of.
I know that it’s in my power to close those chapters in my life and let God start writing a brand new one.
And that’s exactly what I will do each day.
When the past tempts me to look back, I will learn from Lot’s wife and keep looking ahead into the place Christ is leading me to next.
And as I do I will forever let go of those things that if given the opportunity to will hold me captive to what once has been.
Be blessed and keep on walking ahead with Christ into the future He has prepared for you! –Anna… ♥
If you’d like to read an article on how to deal with the past make sure to read this one from Debra Fileta!
“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” -Philippians 3:13