Friday, 28 March 2014

She Reads Truth: Jonah 3&4



Jonah is story which speak volumes to me. Like we read in the daily devotionals through the She Reads Truth website, there really is a lot of ourselves we can see through Jonah. It is a book of God's lavish grace and mercy on a people he deeply loves and cherishes yet who have been ignoring him for so long. Jonah, a man who thought he was better than many and yet who was too scared to follow through on God's initial calling, who then does so with a mixture of modestly and anguish. I'm getting ahead of myself though...

Jonah 3 begins with God's second calling of Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn the people there of His wrath. Considering he was outwitted by God the first time round (the whale incident and all), Jonah goes. I too struggle with God's calling in my life. When I was 22, in my last year of University at UGA I prayed like a mad woman for God to tell me what to do next, open doors for new opportunities or give me an inkling of my next adventure. It seemed as though everyone around me had plans - masters degrees, jobs lined up, travels booked. I had zilch. As I prayed one night I felt stirred to go to South Korea. This floored me. I ignored it and kept praying. I knew nothing of the country and had only a couple of friends from Seoul who seemed more intent on getting out rather than settling back home. I bargained with God to go to Australia because after looking on the map I thought that Australia was pretty close and could possibly do. This was apparently a no-go for God so in the end I gave up and accepted that I should probably go. I didn't know what I would do there though so said "I'll go, you provide". That seemed reasonable to me.

He did, I found out about the English teaching market out there and as I was tutoring anyway and loved it, it seemed logical. Fast-forward through one of the best years I've experienced and I know that God knew what was best for me even though I didn't. has that ever happened to you?

I love the way that in comparison to Jonah, the King of Nineveh was quick to respond to the word of the Lord. He didn't just sell a few bit of gold, treat his servants a little better or give his people a day off. He urged his people to relent from their ways, to put on sackcloth (an ugly, inexpensive garment which would have made all people seem as poor as each other), and to enter a time of fasting. If only I would have more courage to respond to the Lord in this quick and full-hearted manner!

Jonah 4 is when Jonah has a little angry tantrum and sulks on a hill. I know this is vastly disregarding the theological points that could be made here, but that's really what it was. Jonah wanted to see the people punished by God and when didn't happen, he sulked and claimed he wanted to die. When God gave him shelter and then took it away, Jonah showed his compassion towards a plant - even more illogical than not showing compassion to humans! But you know the story so you don't need me to explain it anymore. I wanted to comment on how sometimes my own anger can be illogical over the most seemingly irrelevant issues in life. The water out of the tap is sometimes warm - at least I have water...that sort of thing. God is continually showing his compassion to me and yet do i want that person who wronged me to be saved/forgiven? Honestly, at the moment of my anger no.

Rereading the book of Jonah has given me perspective being humble, loving beyond anger and sharing God's love to those we don't necessarily feel that close to. For the same compassion and mercy he shows to me is available to everyone else, all those he's created and nurtured whether they know him or not. It's not for me to decide who knows him.

Linking up with the rest of the She Reads Truth Bloggers here!