Lot’s wife gets her mention in the nineteenth chapter of Genesis. Brief though this mention is, the events of the last days of her life have much to teach us about transitioning from season to season. More of a listener than a reader? No problem, simply press play on the audio below. Feel free to download also.
In Genesis 19 God sent two angels to the city of Sodom and Gomorrah to destroy it. This is because He was tired of the continuous sin and immorality that its inhabitants were taking part in (Genesis 18:20-21). Lot, recognising that they were holy, gave the angels refuge for the night which was also a bid to save them from being sexually assaulted by the men of the city (no I did not make that up! See Genesis 19:4-11).
Prior to sending the angels to Sodom and Gomorrah. God had sent them to Abraham (Lot’s uncle). After confirming God’s promise to him, the Lord told Abraham that they would destroy the city. Knowing that Lot and his family lived there, Abraham petitioned God to spare them and He agreed (Genesis 18: 20-33). Therefore, in fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham the two angels warned Lot about what was to take place in the city the next day and that he and his family needed to evacuate to avoid being caught up in its destruction (Genesis 19:12-13). Unfortunately for Lot’s two sons-in-law, they did not heed his warning because they thought that he was joking (Genesis 19:14). However, the two angels were able to transport Lot, his wife and two daughters out of the city safely (Genesis 19:15-16).
Once out of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot managed to obtain permission to seek refuge in a neighbouring city. The angels agreed to preserve that city but warned Lot and his family not to look back towards Sodom and Gomorrah whilst they journeyed there. However, everybody obeyed the command except Lot’s wife and, as a result, she was turned into a pillar of salt. Therefore, only Lot and his daughters made it to their new place of refuge (Genesis 19:17-26).
Through Lot’s wife we learn that sometimes following God’s will for our lives will force us out of our comfort zones. For example, it may cause us to have to make sacrifices that we are unused to; walk away from loved ones and/or relocate, just as it did in her life. The thing about this, though, is that these things do not always come about through positive circumstances. We humans are typically creatures of habit and comfort, preferring to take the path of least resistance. Therefore, in order to push us forward, God will sometimes allow chaos and sudden destruction to be let loose in our lives (just as with Sodom and Gomorrah) for He is “like [a mother] eagle that stirs up its nest,” forcing her young out of their safe place and ensuring that they spread their wings, and learn to fly.
Lot’s wife reveals a little acknowledged truth- that transitioning from one level to another is rarely smooth and the change from one season to the next is often fraught with trials. We often pray that God would cause our visions to come to pass and show forth His glory in our lives, but maybe we should pay attention to the old adage to “be careful what [we] wish for…”. Because the fact is that when we pray to be blessed (in whatever capacity), we are actually praying for adversity as there is no testimony without a test and no mess without a message. However, despite the hardship and emotional turmoil that this can cause, God expects us to keep our eye on the prize! He doesn’t want us to look back and mourn what was like Lot’s wife did. He wants us to be like Paul and:
“forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”.
That takes faith to believe, that God’s thoughts are not evil towards you but that He wishes, above all, to establish your hopes (Jeremiah 29:11). It means believing, in line with one of my favourite Madonna lyrics, that “if it [was] bitter in the start; then [it will be] sweeter in the end”.
What about you, lovely? Instead of asking God “why?” try asking God “what?” For example, what could the turmoil that I am currently going through be trying to push me toward? What is God trying to produce in me? Napoleon Hill once said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal of greater benefit”. What is the possible benefit of this circumstance? What is the testimony that you want to have at the end of this situation? What is the message that you want to come out of this mess? Once you’ve figure that out, commit it to prayer and start taking steps towards that positive outcome.