When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”
Genesis 19:17 (NLT)
Context: If you read around this verse in Genesis 19, you might recognize the story of Lot and his wife being rescued from Sodom just before G’d destroys the city. G’d has sent the angels to destroy the city (Genesis 19:13), and after having a horrifying night (I won’t go into that .. but check it out ;)) the angels asked Lot if he had any other family, and told him to hurry and leave! Lot’s son-in-law didn’t believe them. Can you imagine the urgency of the situation?! It is so … real .. Remember where Lot’s wife is turned into a pillar of salt … yes … if only she had run and not looked back... That is THIS Story.
The verse spoke to me about leaving behind a place of pain, when you have healed and dealt with the pain. So, for example … you break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, and you know that the relationship is not what you want for marriage. (Personally I think we should not get too far … and should do the research friendship phase effectively so we don’t move into messy relationships.) However, if you find yourself leaving a relationship that you don’t want to continue with, don’t go back into it. Be sure. Heal. Make amends in your heart. Break any soul ties. And get out of there … don’t look back.
On another angle, maybe you were hurt deeply by a person 10 or 15 years prior, but you never forgave them. You still carry the pain and it still affects you. These types of situations require deep healing. Once healing is done, then you can let go of it. Give it to Jesus and move on with your life – don’t go dwell in that valley, that low emotional place. Just like the verse says, Run for your life. Don’t look back or stop in the valley. Escape to the mountains.
This morning I came across the following quote just after I read and prayed about the verse above. “Let go of the thoughts that don’t make you strong.” Wow. Thought life. What is your thought life like? Are you dwelling in the valley? Or are you thinking up and onward, to the mountain top – the place where you are seeing miracles and praising and jumping for joy! When you are standing on the mountaintop – what you see is more mountain tops! More awesome and exciting things that God has for you!
Yes, everyone goes through valleys … and some valleys aren’t because we choose to be there – some valleys are because of other people’s choices or the situations we find ourselves in. But let us do what we can to keep peace within… the peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7):
7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:7-9 (NLT)
That is my prayer today: God, that Your heavenly peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding, would guard my heart and my mind. Strengthen me, Lord, that even in the valley I will focus on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, and lovely in Your sight. Amen.