I want to preface this post with a little flashback Friday action to this gem…
Please tell me I am not the only one who has seen this video? I used to love it when they would show Veggie Tales movies during Sunday School. They made Bible stories seem so lighthearted, cute, and at times, quite humorous. Fast forward several years and the only thing I remember from this particular video is a massive fish/whale swallowing Jonah, then Jonah hanging out in his belly for 3 days and then the fish basically throwing him up onto the shore. Pretty disturbing and really quite weird.
After reading Jonah 1 and 2 this week as part of the #SheReadsTruth: Jonah study, I realized that I completely missed the point of that entire story. In my little brain I remember understanding that Jonah must have done something REALLY bad for God to allow him to endure a treacherous storm, being thrown overboard, swallowed up, and then regurgitated a few days later. It never crossed my mind that this story is an amazing and quite humbling representation of our lives. My life.
This story is a beautiful one showing God’s unending mercy towards us when we decide to do our own thing. Just like the Lord called Jonah to “Go to the great city of Ninevah and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me (Jonah 1:2),” He often calls us to do something that we just really do not want to do. Whether that looks like going somewhere physically, or maybe it comes in the form of being called to reach out to somebody who we’ve experienced turmoil with. Just like Jonah, we can easily become so arrogant to think that they do not deserve our mercy, love, or even attention. These bitter feelings can then propel us to go the opposite direction as the Lord instructs us to go.
Jonah was a God-fearing man; a prophet who absolutely appreciated God’s loving-kindness and mercy when it was directed towards him and his people. He just was not cool with that same grace being placed upon his enemies. I get it, the Assyrians were bad people who were on track to eventually overrun the Kingdom of Israel. I would be really upset also and most likely would have fled from the Lord during that time.
But the Lord is faithful when we are not. He will not leave us alone or quit putting things in our tracks the point us back to him. That little voice in our head and those feelings of restlessness that continually resurface in our hearts, are His way of showing up and reminding us of what we need to be doing. Who we need to call, who we need to visit, or maybe it means just being still and listening.
I know I can do a better job of listening and obeying. Because after all, He isn’t going anywhere. And I am so thankful for that.
Have a great weekend.
P.S. I have been playing around with the theme & layout of my blog in efforts to get a little sidebar action going on. I appreciate your patience 🙂