I am more like Jonah than I would like to admit. I’m all about following God’s will when it matches MY plans. The problem starts when He asks me to do big, terrifying, or inconvenient things. It’s so easy to start trying to barter in our prayers.
“God, the kids have award ceremonies, banquets, and end of the year programs. We have dance practices and the recital. We’re helping with VBS and are trying to balance all the plates while still finding time to clean the ones piled up in the kitchen sink. Can’t this wait, or could you maybe find someone else that could do this??”
And all the Mommas said, “AMEN!”
God knows our heart, just like he knew Jonah’s. In Jonah 4:2, Jonah tells the Lord, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster” (ESV).
God knew Jonah would try to run, and in the process, he was able to plant a seed in the hearts of all the sailors on the ship he attempted to flee on. In Jonah 4:1, the sailors cry out to their gods. By the end of it, they cry out to the Lord, our God.
Sometimes, the storms we see other people walk through help us grow in our faith. Sometimes, it is our own trials that bring us to our knees.
It took being swallowed by a whale to force Jonah to pray, “When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” -Jonah 2:7-9 (ESV)
Jonah ran from his calling and the Ninevites chased after evil things, yet God pursued BOTH, showed mercy to BOTH, and loved BOTH. To this day, God continues to pursue us with His everlasting love and undeserved grace. All we have to do is accept it.
This post was originally featured on Daughter of Delight (click here)