Don't Look Back

Read Genesis 19: 15-26

Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19: 24-26 (NRSV)

Melinda Eye Cooper, from Tennessee, remembers the first time she heard her dad read the story of Lot's wife. As a child, she didn't understand why Lot's wife looked back. Melinda wanted to yell, "Don't look back!" But she did, and her life ended. Now, as an adult, Melinda understands why she might have looked back. She was leaving the familiar. She may have loved someone she left behind or even the town itself.

At times in Melinda's life, she has had a hard time moving forward without grieving over what she has left behind. When they moved to a different state, far away from family, it was hard to leave the familiar and those she loved. She ended up making a list of the reasons they moved. When she struggled with letting go of the past, she would read the list and remember God's direction.

We can trust God when God says it's time to move forward and not look back. One consequence for looking back is that moving forward becomes more difficult than it needs to be. Our fate may not be as drastic as Lot's wife, but no doubt we suffer when we disobey God's call to move forward and refuse to leave the past behind.

So when God says to go, we can follow in confidence, knowing that God will lead us to the best place for our growth and joy.

Prayer: Father God, help us to look forward to what you are doing in our lives and never to look back in regret, in Jesus' name. amen.

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