When I wrote “Want More?” I was going through another Christmas season alone. My Christmas wish was the same request I had made shortly after my husband had passed away. I was sitting on the couch hugging my dog. All I could pray was “Lord, I don't care what it takes or what I lose all I want is to know you more.”
The Lord granted my request. In the process came even more change. I sold the house that we had lived in for seventeen years and gave away or sold most of my possessions. The hardest part was leaving the small church where I had come to know Christ as Lord and Savior and saying goodbye to my friends who had been my family for the last fourteen years. With the vehicle packed and my dog secured in the back seat, we moved a thousand miles away back to relatives that I didn't know all that well.
When God moves He gives us the strength to accomplish His will. What I didn't expect was the confusion and anger I felt once I arrived at my destination. The last several months have been a time of great healing for me. It is a new season and the opportunities are endless. Yet I found myself struggling to do what I know that I should do. The Lord took me back to the story of Jonah.
Jonah was a prophet whom God called to go to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, to proclaim God's judgment against it because of the wickedness of the people who lived there.
God loves all people. Jonah didn't want the people of Nineveh to repent. He knew if the people turned back towards God, that God would have mercy on them and cancel His plans to destroy them. Jonah chose to run from the Lord by going in the opposite direction from which the Lord command him to go. How many times have you run from what the Lord has asked you to do?
There is no hiding from God. He knows all and sees all. Jonah boarded a ship heading west to Tarshish. A great storm arose. In order to save the ship Jonah told the sailors to throw him overboard. They did, but God wasn't done with Jonah. A great fish swallowed him. After three days and nights in the belly of the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord. The Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah up on the beach. Jonah found himself closer to the exact place where he didn't want to be.
Then the Lord again spoke to Jonah and commanded him to go to Nineveh to deliver the message of judgment he had been given. (Jonah 3:1-2) God had given Jonah another chance but He also still had the same requirements of Jonah. Our disobedience will not change God's mind on what He has for us to do. He didn't say to Jonah, “I know that you don't agree with Me, it is okay you can go home now.”
Oswald Chambers said, “Doing God's will is never hard. The only thing that is hard is not doing His will.” God often calls us to do things that we don't understand or that take us out of our comfort zone. Like Jonah we have a choice in how we respond. We can believe the promise in Psalm 32:8 that says, “ I will guide you along the best pathway for your life,” says the Lord. “I will advise you and watch over you.” Or we can do it our way. He always gives us the choice.
I know that I am the most miserable when I am full of fear and don't trust what the Lord is doing. This life doesn't come with a road map that explains every move and everything that will happen in our lives or why God wants us to do something.
God sent Jonah to Nineveh because He wanted the people to turn back to Him and be saved from destruction. I would like to say that Jonah rejoiced that the people of Nineveh turned from their evil ways and were spared. But Jonah's attitude was that he would rather die than see the people saved. The people needed to hear Jonah's message and he needed to deliver it. Jonah didn't want God to bless his enemies. He delivered the message but his attitude wasn't right.
I am not really sure what happened to Jonah at the end of the story. I do know that when we don't trust God, when we question His motives, when we disobey and don't do what we should do or do something that He said not to do, we are the ones who miss out on the best that He had planned for us. It is far better to take His hand then to run from Him.
Jonah is a story which holds great lessons for each of us. It is four short chapters. I would encourage you to read it and ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to learn through it.
If you like what you read, thank God for it. If you don't, tell Him.