Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Please don't be a Jonah
There are times in my life when it seems that God grants me a different perspective on situations and people. A few past examples have to do with what I had somewhat suspected was happening in a situation and He sort of lifted me up to show me a greater picture. Essentially telling me that I was close, but here's more of the story. There have been some other times when it was clear He was saying run, don't walk, to the door of a church we were going to.
Still other times it was things He was showing me about me.
I may not get it all the time, but for the most part I try to observe people. Their behaviors and actions. The words they say, the words they don't say. In many cases it's kept me from stepping in a minefield of emotions. I say many cases, because in some cases I stepped in anyways.
It's been rather interesting to having been drawn deeper into a particular book of the Old Testament. Jonah. Most know the story of Jonah. The Lord wanted him to go and warn the people of Nineveh and he ran the other way. Was caught up in a storm on a boat, the men on board discovered it was his fault. They finally, reluctantly, threw him overboard to calm the seas and save their lives. Which worked. God provided a whale to care for him until he repented and relented to the Lord's will for his life. He had a mission to accomplish and he was the chosen one to fulfill it.
Now we don't know what took place on the rest of day 1, or anything of day 2. It was day 3 that picks up in Chapter 2.
Digging that deep into Jonah had me wondering some things just as I had wondered some things about the book of Job.
Jonah had a great deal of hate in his heart for the people of Nineveh. He wanted nothing more than to see God wipe them from existence, just as God had done to Sodom and Gomorrah. But the Lord's plan was to spare. Likely for the same reasons that were given to Abraham concerning how many righteous were found in the city.
But it made me wonder about Christian's that I know and have met. Not every Christian is a happy individual. I know that I wasn't for a great many years. Which made me compare myself with people like Jonah. Which made me compare people I know with Jonah. God answers their prayers but they were wanting a wholly different answer....so they are mad at God for the answer He gave. I've done it. It took me a great deal of time to realize the most important truth in a deeper way: There's a reason why He's God and I am not.
I can't run the other way and He not take notice and implement a correction in my behavior and actions.
I can't harbor ill towards others and it not take it's toll on me.
There's no room for disobedience in the life of a Christian. To know better and yet not obey will just mean repeating whatever it is that was the lesson to learn for us all over again.
There's going to be times when God answers a prayer and it's not what I was wanting or expecting. Again, He is God and I am not. No man is able to know what God knows about a problem person or problem situation. It may SEEM clear to us but God doesn't do anything without knowing.
It is also the crux of what it means to be a Disciple of Christ. He, being the Master, us, being the Disciple, means that we accept what He has ordained. We don't tell Him how it should be. The Disciples got it wrong on many occasions.
So, before you do a Jonah...make sure that you are not just mad at God because you didn't get what you thought you wanted. God isn't our personal Genie of the Lamp. He's not there to answer our every beck and call. He also is going to answer prayers in the way that's best. Not just best for us, but best for those we impact in life.
Probably why there's much said about being thankful. Thankful for what goes right and even thankful for what doesn't seem to go right. Give thanks in all things.