Some things are just too beautiful to let go. I look into your eyes as you clamber around your brother’s train set, picking up cars, knocking over little segments of track and town buildings. Mumbling, “Da, da, da, phsst.” I stop and catch myself. The delicate amber necklace that hangs like a pearl wreath around your miniature ivory tower neck, just below eyes shimmering like shining blue beacons, captures me.
Who is this lady?
You’re so sophisticated and grown up. This is no girl who stands before me. This is a one year old package of concentrated beauty my heart cannot hold, of stuff so pure and intoxicating I pour in and brace as my heart reacts. This is a captivating woman condensed into 15 lbs of little girl. My baby girl.
There are things too beautiful to let go. Like little girls with pearl amber-necklaces and big eyes with even bigger dreams. These things Daddy God would never let go of.
But what you hold onto matters too. It changes little things, like the light in your eyes. It fills your heart with life if you focus it on God, or hardens you if you fix your eyes on the world.
Lot’s wife held too tightly to the world — she couldn’t let go of its temptations, it hardened her, and she turned to salt and crumbled to pieces on the ground.
Don’t let your heart be turned to a pillar of salt in this world, my daughter.
Love not the world nor anything in the world… For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2.15-16)
And this world is passing away.
But Daddy God made you to SHINE like the lilies of the field, clothed in splendor — he made you even more beautiful than that. And here’s the irony: if you seek the desires of the world, if you pursue them rather than God, it will rob you of your innocent beauty.
It will turn your life into salt pillars that crumble to the ground.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to it. (Matthew 6.28)
If you hold too tightly to the world and seek its desires, if you ignore John’s advice not to love the world, if you ignores Lot’s wife’s ignorance and look back, yearning for what is not of God, you’ll miss the narrow gate God is leading you to:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7.13-14)
Few find it because it leads through a cross.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3.16)
And Jesus reminds,
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Mark 8.34)
If you love him, you will follow, my beloved.
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. -Jesus (John 14.15)
Do you see it? God loves you so much and he wants you, of all his kids, to be in his God family forever. But there’s a narrow gate that leads to this place, and if you love him, you will follow him through it. You will not turn back to the world, because its desires and allures are dead — they are passing away. “But whoever does the will of God lives forever.” Do not turn your heart to dead things, my dear, to this world and all that is passing away, to the worldliness and ungodliness God has called you out of. To salt crumbling to the ground.
So many turn back like Lot’s wife. So many see allures of this world and decide the attraction is too great, too tempting in its self-serving superficiality to think of glory and joy and love and everlasting fulfillment with Daddy God and the family forever. So they choose the wide gate, the broad one, the one that leads to destruction, and great is their fall.
But being in Daddy God’s family is beautiful and inspiring and everything it should be, which means antithetical to self-serving gain and spiritual compromise.
It is the greatest gift ever with the most humbling cost. You have to give up what is dead — the world that is passing away — to gain life. Christ, Daddy God, love, joy, fulfillment, and life. Life in God is so good. It is the only thing, besides a lovely lady I hold in my arms, worth hanging onto.
But it doesn’t come through a wide gate.
It comes through a way less attractive and a whole lot more meaningful — a narrow way.
It comes through a cross.