Sometimes I just want to pull a Jonah and run away. You know that Biblical story, right? The Lord wants Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against that city, because it’s wickedness had come up before God. Jonah runs away from the Lord and the Lord’s will and heads for Tarshish instead (Jonah 1:1-3). But you can’t outrun God. Eventually, a violent storm happens and Jonah is thrown overboard by terrified sailors and ends up inside a great fish (Jonah 1:4-16).
Fast forward and Jonah eventually obeys the Lord and goes to Nineveh and speaks the Lord’s message, but he is dismayed and angry when the people repent for their wickedness and God shows them compassion and love. One thing that amazes me is that not only did the Ninevites believe God, but they declared a fast and ALL the people put on sackcloth in repentance and even the king called urgently on the Lord and said for the people to give up their evil ways and their violence (Jonah 3). I wonder about that happening today. It is hard to imagine a whole city unified, let alone 100% of a city’s people fasting and repenting. Our modern day mantra seems to be “anything goes,” but I am not a fan of that mantra or relativism which compromises moral and religious integrity.
My life lately has been really hard with intense disappointments, work stress, a potential Goliath situation in my life, and frustrating car problems with my car that is barely two years old and has approximately 13,000 miles on it. I’d like to run away and escape to a new city or state or a new church. But I was led by God spiritually to move to my city when I was at a crossroads in my life, and I have no doubt God wanted me here. While it is not exactly a Jonah type “running away and being thrown overboard a ship into a whale” situation (thank goodness), I can relate to Jonah when he wants to run away from where he is supposed to be. Perhaps you can relate to the desire to run away? Life’s storms are crazy, but I take heart in God’s love for me even when my faith is small like a mustard seed. As the Scripture says (believe in Psalms), sorrow comes for a night, but joy comes in the morning.