Did you have a special stuffed animal that you clung to when you were younger? What about a blanket that just had to go everywhere with you? When we were holding onto these things we felt a safety and security. There was something about clutching that teddy bear in the middle of the night or pulling that “blankie” up close that just helped us to feel better. It is interesting that God designed us to feel a certain sense of comfort when we hold onto things. Remember the last time that you were afraid? I’m sure you grabbed hold of the arm closest to you. What about when you decided to try out a new ride at the amusement park? You probably couldn’t have gripped that safety bar any tighter. When we want security we are designed to hold onto something so what are you holding onto today?
Imagine if you had to pick up and move in this very instant and you’re not allowed to take anything or anyone with you. The place you are going is completely unfamiliar. What is it that you would have the most difficult time leaving behind? What would you absolutely dread parting with? For some people it may be certain valued possessions. For others it might be a friendship or a relationship. Maybe you’d even be upset about having to leave a reputation you’ve worked hard to establish. Whatever came first to your mind may be a good indicator of what you’re holding onto. Jesus caused his disciples to think on these in Luke 17:31-33. There Jesus says, “On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” Jesus is making it clear that He is returning to do business on this earth. There will come a day when all people must part ways with this earth and everything that comes with it. When Jesus is speaking about His return to earth, He shows us that there will be some people who would rather hold onto their earthly goods than anything else. It is in these things that they’ve found the most security. To this Jesus says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Lot’s wife loved her life in Sodom and Gomorrah so much that she just could not part with it. God was going to punish the city for their wickedness and He gave instruction to Lot and his family what they should do for freedom. He gave a clear warning not to look back. It was up to this family to hold onto God and his truth. God made a path of escape and they would now have to decide what they held onto most. God’s Word or something else? They had to be willing to let go of what they were leaving behind and hold onto who they knew God was. Lot’s wife just couldn’t do it. She found her security there. Whether it was in the friends she made in that city, the stuff she acquired, or the life she had. In the end Lot’s wife died because she was holding onto the wrong things.
Part of the human struggle is that things just don’t last. Health may fail. About a year ago I was brought face to face with this truth during my stint in the hospital. Our abilities may dwindle. There may come a day when we now longer excel in the activities we’ve once enjoyed. Whether it be injury or age, there are things that rob us from the security in our activities. The things we own wither and fade. I still cringe over childhood treasures I’ve lost to garage sales. It’s hard to lose our stuff but even more so it’s hard to lose loved ones and friends. We’ve been reminded within our church family that life is fragile. People may pass. Friends may move on. Our social statuses may change. It is now that we must decide that we are going to hold on to God and His Word. The Lord has promised us safety and security in holding onto Jesus and what He accomplished at the cross. We can enjoy our things, we can love our family, and laugh with our friends but we cannot let these things define us. The only thing that lasted through the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and that is promised to stand the test of eternity is the Word of the Lord (Is. 40:8). This is what Lot and the remainder of his family found safety and security in. There is only peace and only permanency in holding onto Christ. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes and never fails. Learn to hold fast to Him whatever the case and whatever the cost!
Holding On Tight, Pastor Rudy