Not Much Different Than Jonah
Jonah is one of the most interesting characters in the Bible. Anyone who grew up in church knows about Jonah, but as kids, we didn’t hear the details.
As kids, we’re told that God instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach about him, but Jonah ran away and hopped on a boat that would take him the opposite direction. There was a huge storm that night, and Jonah knew it was God trying to get his attention. He had the other men throw him over board and a big fish came and swallowed him up. After Jonah prayed to God, the fish spit him up, and he went to preach to the people of Nineveh.
No one ever explained why Jonah ran from God. I always thought Jonah was afraid of the people. Maybe he thought they would try to kill him because after he gave them God’s message, they’d be mad at him for ruining their party lifestyle.
In all actuality, Jonah refused to do what God told him to do because he knew what would happen. Jonah was convinced that once the people of Nineveh heard about God’s love and kindness, they would make changes to their lives and God would forgive them. That really bothered Jonah because he felt that since the people of Nineveh were living in sin, they deserved God’s judgment and wrath.
There was a time when I look at the life of Jonah and praised God that I was nothing like him. I had no sympathy for him and how he ended up in the belly of that fish, because he brought that upon himself by being such a selfish, egotistical jerk.
Then I took a look at my current situation. I couldn’t say that things were totally out of control, but I couldn’t exactly say that everything in my life was all peaches and sunshine, either.
It seems that no matter what I do, it’s just not good enough. I can’t seem to catch a break. I had to shut down my business because I never could get it off the ground. My dream job is just out of my grasp. I’m a single woman with no prospects on the horizon. Plus there seems to be an ever increasing shortage of friends.
I did a great deal of self-reflection. After taking a long hard look at myself, I realized something: I am no different than Jonah.
The Lord told me to do something a long time ago. He even indicated that I would find relief and release in other areas when I begin to live in obedience. But I wanted to do what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to do things God’s way because I’d tried that before and didn’t really like how things turned out. Plus I felt that what he asked me to do was beneath me.
Isn’t it ironic that the one Biblical character that I thought I was nothing like, turns out to be the person whose footsteps I’ve followed?
Needless to say, I’ve got some changes to make. What about you? Do you have any Jonah-like tendencies?
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