With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them 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!” (Gen 19:15-17)Even though the sins of Sodom were great, Lot resisted leaving there. Even though everything around him was about to be destroyed, he hesitated. He resisted leaving the known for the unknown. He resisted leaving his comfortable house to live in a cave. He resisted the new life that was being offered him. The angels had to seize his hand and the hands of his family and drag them out, for the Lord was merciful. Lot did nothing to bring about his salvation. He did nothing to deserve his salvation. But because of the Lord's mercy, he was saved.
The family was told to not stop and to not look back. To take a hold of their new life, they had to let go of the old one and look ahead. They had to trust that God's plan was their best option. Unfortunately neither Lot or his wife trusted God's plan. Lot begged to be allowed to flee to a nearby city instead of the mountains. Lot's wife disobeyed and looked back. Lot eventually fled to the mountains, and his wife became another casualty of the judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah.
When our past controls our present, we put ourselves outside God's plan for abundant life. When we resist the new people, new experiences, and new challenges that God brings, we become stuck in between the past and the present. When I look at pictures of the way our family used to be, I long to go back. But if my longing keeps me looking back instead of looking ahead, then it keeps me from fulfilling God's purpose for me today. It keeps me from embracing His plan. It keeps me from enjoying the abundant life He has promised.
I must grasp God's hand and go with him. Like Lot, I may not like where He takes me, but I can learn to live there. I can learn to trust God with the future I cannot see. Don't look back. Look ahead.