“Remember Lot’s wife”. - Luke 17:32
I read this verse at the most pivotal moment of my life- a moment where I found myself gradually drifting to the past. It comes unintentionally; when life’s circumstances seem to take preeminence over one’s relationship with Christ. As a result we find ourselves stagnant in our faith journey or even worse, reverting to familiar ways. In this blog, I hope to convey the message of remaining steadfast in the Lord; growing and moving forward with Him. And as usual, I will cite God’s word to emphasize the point I seek to make and also make use of examples from personal experience.
This year I began life in the working industry and it has been an entirely new experience for me coupled with joys and sorrows. A major transformation that I encountered was how my relationship with God seemed to go downhill. I found myself being preoccupied with the demands of the working life and having to juggle the balance between work and leisure. In the midst of it all with the stage I’m currently in, I got pressure (both internal and external) to look into getting married and building a family life. I live in a decent place- a three bedroom house which always made me imagine how it would be like to have someone of the opposite sex keep me company. It just didn’t feel right at my age, assuming that I’m responsible and mature to be waiting for…what exactly?
Being hungry for love and emotional fulfillment opened the door for the Devil to return my past lovers on my path. The devil always tempts us with what we are most hungry for. He tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4:3) because he knew that Jesus was hungry for food after fasting forty days and forty nights. Two exes whom I was both “crazy” about in the past contacted me at around the same time. It felt good to talk to them; I didn’t feel that I was doing anything wrong; “we’re just talking”. But the more I talked to them, the more they used language that made me desire to return to my past. I was just hungry to hear the words, “Babe, I miss you, thinking of you, I wanna marry you, I want us to make babies” and that’s exactly what I was getting. Yet at the same time I felt my integrity being compromised and that’s what I need for guidance. As proverbs 11:3a says, “The integrity of the upright guides them”. If I lose my intergrity, I minimize the chance of being guided in the right path.
One of the exes and I were making serious plans for his visit when one day I decided to just kneel and pray about it. I remember that evening so vividly. I came to God just as I was, with my sins, my passion for the world, my desire for my ex and I said to Him, “Daddy, if he’s not the one for me remove him out of my life”. That same night when I went to bed as customary we began chatting. After stating that he might “fall for my sister” I stated my expectations; that I don’t want a man that I should share with other women. As a matter of fact here’s how the conversation transpired:
I was wasting my time, fingers, and data telling him the kind of life partner I would like to have. I had always liked him and now he was saying how he wants to marry me and give me children and stuff, so in my hunger I thought that something might work out between us. Stating my expectations made him insinuate that I’m psycho and he bid me farewell to wait for what he could not be; a faithful man. Intense pressure was released off my chest, God had answered my prayer and I never looked back!
When we continuously look back we fail to perceive the beautiful and new things God wants us to experience. Most times He’s pulling us to His level, to show us what could be…but we remain indignant because we only know what has been. We are familiar with taking short cuts and bearing painful consequences because God’s standards are difficult to implement and foreign to the world around us. When you live according to the standard of the Word you become classified as psycho, your standards are just too high. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told that I will never find a man because of my “crazy standards”. And when I’m alone in my empty three bed-room house it gets to me- like, what exactly am I waiting for?
This made me restless for a time until I read this verse from Galatians 5:7, “You were running a good race. Who cut on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” I felt that the Holy Spirit was personally asking me this question. I was reminded of my contentment in the Lord while still in varsity, how I used to run for Him and not really bothered by many things. What had happened? I had now taken pride in my achievements. Instead of waiting on the Lord, I waited on my next pay check. Instead of boasting in Him, I boasted in how many people were showing interest in me. Instead of looking forward, I was looking backwards. The temptation to abandon our faith and live according to the sinful nature will never cease as long as we keep entertaining the past. God is calling us to a higher life; we should understand that there is no victory in compromise. Living for the Lord is a matter of faith, of trusting in the goodness and faithfulness and trustworthiness of God to meet our every need. Psalm 145:14 says, “The eyes of all look upon Him and He gives them their food at the proper time.” We will miss our food if we keep looking back at the past.
During the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his family were commanded to “flee for their lives, and not look back, or they will be swept away” (Genesis19:17) but Lot’s wife disobeyed. She looked back and as a result became a pillar of salt! What a paradox that when we look back we lose our saltiness, our ability to reach out to our world. I saw this with me when I had lost my passion and desire to spend time with God but always anticipated other things. God in His mercy brought this verse to my attention which I still ponder and meditate upon: “Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”(Luke17:32-33). As we abandon our lives to the Lord, lose the worldly ideals we secretly cherish, and remain steadfast in the Lord we will become truly alive!