But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Colorado State Highway 115 runs between Colorado Springs and the smaller towns of Florence and Cañon City. It cuts through rocky bluffs and climbs over cedar-dotted hills, and at the southern entrance to a long canyon a stony pillar juts out of the rock next to the road. Area residents call the formation Lot’s Wife, naming it for an infamous Old Testament woman.
At least once each week for several years I made the 35-mile drive from Florence to Colorado Springs, and when my children were with me they always kept a sharp eye out for Lot’s Wife.
Then my husband made a drastic career move that changed not only his circumstances, but mine as well. I had to go back to work, give up homeschooling, and send our two children to public school. It was a difficult adjustment for me, and I kept looking back longingly at what our life had once been.
One day as I drove past Lot’s Wife, I thought about the rock’s unchanging nature and the biblical story behind the name. The Genesis account tells us that God brought Lot’s family out of a bad situation and cautioned them not to look back at the destruction about to follow. Everyone obeyed the warning except Lot’s wife. As the family fled to safety, she cast a glance over her shoulder and it was her last.
Was it simple curiosity that lured her into disobedience, or a longing for a familiar way of life? Maybe she didn’t just peek. Maybe she stopped, turned around, and stared. Regardless of her reason or method, she chose to go against the warning, and it cost the woman her life. When she looked back she became a pillar of salt. Immovable, unchanging, never again to laugh or love or live.
As I wound my way through the canyon that day, I wondered about the two daughters. They’d had a pretty harrowing experience back home. Lot had offered them to a lustful mob in order to protect two mysterious visitors lodging with the family. And when they later fled the city at the visitors’ insistence, the girls’ betrothed husbands refused to go with them.
Talk about rejection!
Girls of that era learned everything they needed to know from their mother. Evidently, the mother of Lot’s daughters had a faith problem long before she solidified her position. Genesis tells us the girls had so little confidence in God that they conceived children with their father out of fear they’d never see another living man. Did they learn such a faithless response from Mom?
The stony Lot’s Wife on Highway 115 became a warning beacon for me. What consequences could result from my unwillingness to accept a change in plans? If I continued to look back and mourn for our former life lost, what did that say to my children? If I stood emotionally frozen in time, unwilling to move forward in faith, what was I demonstrating to them about God’s faithfulness?
Over the next several months my husband spent invaluable time with our children—daily time, experiencing their childhood in a way he never would have enjoyed had he stayed in his earlier employment. And soon he began a new career, one that fulfilled him and demonstrated to all of us that God never forsakes us.
Lord, thank you for the warning in the story of Lot’s wife. Help me be ready to go when you say go, and to stay when you say stay. Make me willing to change and grow and stretch out of my comfort zone, trusting you to provide what we need.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.