29 July 2014

Lot's Wife: I Turn Around

Genesis 19:1-29 | Luke 14:25-33

"No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)

It was easy
when all was fine
and I did not have to choose
between you
and all my other loves.
It was easy
to follow you
when I could have the rest as well.

But now
with the choice before me
I see it was never
easy at all.

And in one moment
I think back
and think of the cost
and what I have to leave.
Family, possessions, home,
all I have known,
all I have loved.
And I think of the things
you want me to let go.

Can I let go
and trust in you -
give it all away
that you return it all
more than a hundredfold?

It is too much.
It is too hard.
I can't give it to you.
Or: I don't want to.

Now that it comes to it
I don't think
I want to give it up at all -
and so


[March 2012]

Counting the cost...

I tried in this poem to portray Lot's wife as one person who has the chance, who knows about God and stands before the choice of following Him - and in the end decides it's too much, and she doesn't want to give up all the other things of life.

Following Jesus can be costly - it means a change of priorities, a change of allegiance, God now ruling our lives, and that can mean giving up on things we love. So it's something we need to be serious about. God gives us grace, but it's not a cheap grace! In the end, though, it's worth it - it is better to lose out now, and suffer the consequences of following Jesus, than suffer the consequences of not following Him. He wants to save us, and He knows what is good for us - like God led Lot's family out of Sodom in order to rescue them, when He calls us to follow Him it is in order to save us.

Why did Lot's wife turn back? Isn't it in some way understandable - all the things she knew and grew up with behind her, and no chance for a last good-bye? It seems a bit harsh what happened to her. But was her changing into a pillar of salt God's punishment, or the consequences (e.g. of not running away quickly enough from the effects of the "fire and brimstone") He was trying to save her from when He forbade her to turn around?

Obedience to God can be costly... but when He asks us to do difficult things, painful things, it is for our good (even if we might not see it at first), and the benefits outweigh the loss.

Picture by Gustave Doré

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