The Lord recently reminded me of the story of Jonah. It’s a major bible story we teach kids about how Jonah ran away from God and everything he had been called to do strictly out of fear of the things he felt incapable of. It’s no coincidence that the bible stories we teach kids are meant for everyone. We start out immature in order for our faith to grow because that’s the way we were created. I believe my favorite thing about this story is the fact even though Jonah had been disobedient to God in the beginning, He is always faithful! “The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD…” (Jonah 1:1-3) As I was praying and preparing for this blog the sheer simplicity of its message hit me right between the eyes. How many times do we as Christians find ourselves in Jonah’s shoes? Most often, we run away out of fear and disobedience because we can’t understand how such a holy and blameless baby boy who was born in a dirty stable could possibly use such sinful and unrighteous people to ultimately accomplish His plan: To tell the world about Him and what he has done for them!
As Jonah’s story continues we see where God causes a great storm on the sea to wake Jonah up and I like to say this is where the faith meets the fire. (Jonah 1:4-17) In other words, it’s where your faith will be tested and this was certainly true for Jonah. I firmly believe that when Jonah ran away from the Lord, he wasn’t thinking about the experience he would face later due to his direct disobedience. If you think about it neither do we. It can be so easy to go our own way or trust the plan we have for ourselves rather than God’s plan. The verses that deeply resonated with me from this story are ten, eleven and twelve because they show Jonah’s recognition of faith and repentance. The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the LORD. “Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned. And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop the storm?” Throw me into the sea, Jonah said. “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” (Verses ten, eleven, twelve) I love these verses so much because they truly encompass the real struggles we face- God’s way versus our own.
Ultimately, Jonah recognized and admitted his wrongdoing to the Lord and the people he was with because they knew that he was running away from God. In further chapters of his story we know that after spending his time in the whale, God uses Jonah mightily to do amazing things for His people and Jonah honestly obeys.
Lastly, I want to challenge everyone who reads this post to be more sincere in listening to what God calls you to. I see a lot of myself in this story and it makes me desire even more of Jesus and the things He has for me!
©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.