Letting Go of the Familiar
Verse: Genesis 19:1–26
Letting go of the familiar is tough. Changing careers or colleges or moving to a new city can take an emotional toll on us. It’s even more difficult to leave behind old habits, attitudes and behaviors.
Lot’s wife wasn’t able to let go of her home in Sodom, even though God sent angels to warn her family to run for their lives because judgment was coming. In fact, the angels’ warnings included such grave commands as “Don’t look back” and “Don’t stop.” Why in the world did this woman choose to stop and look back? Could it be that she loved the life she was leaving too much? Though Sodom was full to overflowing with sin and vice, apparently the dark and oppressive city was comfortably familiar to Lot’s wife.
It is difficult to leave the familiar behind. That fact is as true today as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction—even when God himself is saying, “It’s time to move on.” If you’ve ever struggled with a destructive habit, you’ve felt the pull of the familiar—even as you’ve sensed God’s nudge, “Move on now.” You’ve experienced the temptation to turn back just one more time, for one last look, one last taste, one last “fix”—even as God has whispered, “Don’t look back.” Maybe you’ve agonized over a loved one’s downward spiral, desperately attempting to rescue them time and time again—until finally God impressed upon you, “Stop. Let go.”
Unlike Lot’s wife, none of us has ever become a pillar of salt by turning back for one last peek. Yet we all struggle with the difficulties of letting go of the old in order to grasp the new. Take heart. God understands that letting go of the familiar is hard. Yet he has called us to move on to new life in Jesus Christ by letting go of our old worldly lives, our old habits, our old dreams—to boldly move forward without looking back. When you feel God’s call to move, allow him to guide you. He will give you the grace to do whatever he has asked.
But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
1. What does the passage in today’s reading teach you about letting go in order to move forward?
2. Why is it so difficult sometimes to let go of the past?
3. What is one thing you think God may be asking you to let go of right now? Spend some time praying that God will help you let go of whatever is hindering you from moving forward in your spiritual journey.