“And while he lingered…”
Those words jumped out at me this morning, in the midst of a study on the women of the Bible with She Reads Truth. (I highly recommend this study for any woman or girl seeking to dig into the inner workings of God and women in the Bible. You can jump in today even)
This phrase came out of the 19th chapter of Genesis as I was reading about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, more specifically looking at the situation from Lot’s wife’s perspective. If you aren’t paying attention you miss it in verse 16, but there it is. Lot was lingering as the messenger angels were telling him of the awaiting destruction of his city. They would be the only family spared, thanks to Abraham’s pleading with God, and yet he tarried about the home.
As much as I would like to think I would sprint out of my home should the angels of God tell me He was unloading His wrath upon the city I was in, I have to admit I would probably be right there with Lot. Lingering, tarrying, frantically looking about my home. A year ago this week I became a home owner, and as I look back on this first year I see a sense of pride building in my home. The memories that are being created, the community in which it is nestled. You worry about unreasonable things as a homeowner that you just didn’t do when you leased or rented a place. That also means you fix the things you’d normally call the super to manage.
About a month ago I discovered a leaky seal on the toilet in my master bathroom. I was determined that I could solve this issue without calling in a plumber. So after consulting my dad (who is a master at fixing almost anything and where I get my need to fix stuff from) and a plumber’s YouTube channel (because hi, it’s me) I got the seal repaired and the leak stopped. I have done minor things around my home, but I still take pride in it, in how it looks and the opportunities it provides to open up the doors for others.
Having lingered a bit too long in Genesis this morning though, I see where that can reach a dangerous point. God has been generous in the provision of this home in my life. But if I am putting more value into it rather than Him, I lose sight of the purpose of the blessing. I linger in the things rather than in the presence of Him. I grow attached to things rather than the Maker. It’s a slippery slope and one I find I have to be wary of even in the best of moments.
Yes I can build a home, one that is welcoming and full of joy. But let me not linger in it and the things it holds. Because these are all temporary-no matter what fondness or memory they hold-in comparison to what He is doing in and through me. Let’s not linger in the stuff today, and instead take hold of the hand that reaches out in mercy to bring us to safety.