When Looking Back Can Get You Stuck

The cattle on a thousand hillsRemember when Lot’s wife ignored the command of the Lord and looked back at Sodom – she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26)? Yeah, that’s the story I remembered when my world got a little shaken up, and my husband and I were moving from our little green house. I loved that place. The neighborhood. The view out our back sliders.

You know what?
I’ve been tempted to look back.
To linger long on memories which evoke security, peace, a sense of the world being alright and everything okay.

But I think my memory serves me wrong. My husband and I definitely had upheaval in our lives, only now, it doesn’t appear as bad, and when I drive past the old neighborhood, it seems as if I can smell curry cooking from the Indian family three doors down. I can almost hear the buzz of a lawnmower cutting fresh grass, and I feel the quiet calm of streets lined with homes bathed in slanted light.

Suddenly, I want to recreate that security. The belief of all being well.

But the truth is, I have all the security I need – in Christ. I’m not supposed to find it in this world, because I’m made for another. We’re pilgrims passing through. On our way to the homeland.

And on this day, when I’m tempted to look back with longing for a time which is past, I sense God taking me to the peak of the land, the whole scope of it lying before me, and in bold proclamation He says it’s all His, for He owns the cattle on a thousand hills! (Psalm 50:10)

Then, He invites me in – to this inheritance. A place secure for me in the heavens.

And it dawns on me…maybe Lot’s wife forgot about the eternal riches of a heavenly Father. Maybe she wanted security in a land which could provide none and she failed to remember to live as a pilgrim.

Forgetting to express faith in the moment, giving thanks – even the hard thanks – for the now, she turned back, longing for something God had declared over. And she got stuck. She couldn’t say like Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord,” (Job 1:21).

If I’m honest, I have it good. So good. There is much in my now for which to be thankful. I’m even rich – blessed with “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” (Ephesians 1:3). The wealth of the kingdom fully at my disposal. The offer of God, not that which will pass, but that which will last. Ultimately, the most generous offer – Himself. A relationship which gives out of abundance, never ending, continuing through all eternity.

So I choose afresh, to enter the holy of holies, behind the veil which separates – torn in two by the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross. Coming humbly, joyfully, in recognition of my own bankruptcy.

And I’m unstuck. Moving into the present with the promises of a loving Father.

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory

Comments

  1. Becky Daye says:

    What a great perspective, friend! A song that sticks with me is “all I know is I’m not home yet, this is not where I belong, take this world and give me Jesus, this is not where I belong!” Amen?!!
    Love you!!!

  2. Jacqui,
    it is amazing what happens when we remember or when we forget we are pilgrims here…and God has given us riches beyond compare now and forever…I know I often have to remind myself…it is practicing (again and again) to see with faith :) praying you and your family are well :)

    • Jacqui says:

      Hi Dolly, I hear you! :) Practicing again and again. I think that’s the Christian walk – continuing to set our minds on things above, not on things on the earth. Good hearing from you, friend! Blessings.

  3. Leah says:

    Great post Jacqui!
    Looking back whether in regret or with fondness will never give clear a picture. Just like looking ahead with all our great plans, or worries about the uncertainties of the future. We can only fully be revealed in the now, because that is where Our Lord awaits us, in the now. That seems to be truth message that keeps coming across my mind these passed months-that I am trying to let sink into my heart.
    Cheers,
    Leah

    • Jacqui says:

      Hey Leah, I love this quote by C.S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters: “For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.” It really opened my eyes to see how valuable our “now” is. What God means when He says to redeem the time, for the days are evil. Anyway, trying to let these truths sink into my heart, too. Miss you, friend. I keep wanting to email, then get pulled away. I know you understand. I even watched a youtube video I thought I should send you, because it explains my life…and it’s super funny! It’s coming!! I may even have time today. Love you!

  4. I was super excited I that I got to put my link right after yours at Jennifer’s.
    I think I needed this. I was complaining to God yesterday about how my reality keeps shifting and I feel like I can’t keep up. Life keeps changing and I think I would just like to sit still all wrapped up in security that what is here and now will stay. But yes, we are pilgrims and pilgrims move. Pilgrims don’t find security in places but in the One that leads and the Promise of a glorious future.
    I really liked this line: “And I’m unstuck. Moving into the present with the promises of a loving Father.” Yes. Lord. Let it be in me. I want to live unstuck. :)

  5. Beautiful words, Jacqui. Thanks for sharing your heart and connecting it to Lot’s wife’s story. Such a good reminder to not look back but to trust in our future, eternal inheritance!

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