“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26
We read the story, that one line that is her legacy, and we wonder “what was she thinking?”. What was back there that compelled her to look, to disobey? Home? Her place of comfort? The place where she had made plans and dreamed dreams?
Perhaps it was the same things that compel us to turn our heads and look behind us. Fear of the unknown. Longing for what was comfortable, familiar. Frustration, because we had made plans in the place behind us, we had dreams back there.
Or maybe we look back because, as bad as it was, it was all we knew. Because we can become quite attached to the pain of what is behind us. Even bondage can be preferable to freedom if freedom means walking into the unknown. The Israelites proved that when they continued to look back at Egypt.
(To walk in freedom without looking back, you have to trust the One who set you free.)
The danger of looking back is the same for us as it was for Lot’s wife. We run the risk of being frozen in place, unable to move forward. We stay fixed on the past, on what is behind us and we miss out on the life that is in front of us.
Lately I have found myself looking back. Not with longing or regret, but with the mindset that what is back there can meet my needs. God has been good to not turn me into salt. Instead, He has called me forward with the promise that all I need is ahead of me, not behind me.
What is in front of me is, for the most part, unknown. Who is in front of me is not. God is in front of me, calling me to keep moving into life. To dream new dreams in new places, to take new territory. To learn of Him in new ways. To discover His provision goes before me into every new place He calls me to walk.
Perhaps it’s time for you, as well, to face forward. To turn your eyes to what is in front of you, trust God, and discover that He has life ahead of you.
Exodus 14:11-12; Exodus 16:3; Exodus 17:3; Isaiah 43:18; Luke 9:62;