God: “Jonah, I want you to go to
”, holding out a piece of paper in Jonah’s direction, “and I want you to give them this note”. Nineveh
Jonah: “Nineveh, are You kidding me!? Have you been to Nineveh lately? They will turn me inside out there, no way, not going”.
God: pinning the note to Jonah’s robe, “It will be fine, now go,” giving Jonah a pat on the back and gentle push.
With A coupla PB and J’s some juice boxes and an apple tucked away in his Superman lunch box Jonah hung his head and slid his sandals along the dirt road, every once in a while peering over his shoulder and when he was sure the Father wasn’t looking…
Aaaand he’s off! Jonah is making a break for it, he is on the run, a fugitive on the lam from the Lord, hauling faster than a tanker a truck on a cross country road trip. Jonah had no intention of going to Nineveh.
Ain’t that the truth, after boarding a boat for Tarshish, a land in the complete opposite direction of his intended, or not so intended destination, almost getting himself and the entire crew of unsuspecting fisherman on board killed in a great storm, then being thrown overboard and landing himself in the belly of a whale, and if that wasn’t bad enough He was left there to stew in his own naughtiness, for.three.days, ultimately ending up right back where he started, and your kids thought their timeouts were bad, they have nothin on our friend Jonah.
This might be what you call, having a bad day.
So I have been sitting here staring at this post for four days, not sure what direction to take it in because there are just so many.
Ultimately it boils down to just one thing, love, and to run from God is to run from love.
To run from God is to run from the One who loves you the most, the One who only wants good things for you, the One who wants to free you from the bondage, The One who loves you so much He is willing to let you sit in the belly of a whale among all its nasty fish guts than to let you keep going in the direction you are going, if you are going to run from anything run from the bondage not from the One who wants to set you free from it.
There will be bad days, there will be days when it hurts to wake up and it hurts to go to sleep, days when it hurts just to breathe and days when your skin literally hurts, I get when you want to build a trap around your heart and never let anyone get close to you again because it just hurts too much, I get that I walked in those shoes, for years AFTER accepting Christ. By the way the steel trap around my heart is still there, coming undone one lock at a time.
But then the days came when I wanted to live again and suicide wasn't an option anymore.
The days came when the sting of hearing the words “I don’t love you anymore” didn’t sting so much anymore.
The days came when I was actually excited to get out of bed and see what the day had waiting for me.
This last year has been hard, I am not going to sugar coat that, it has been hard, but now there is hope attached to that.
It was a year ago that I found myself back on the same sandy shores I was on four years ago when I accepted Christ, the same sandy shores where I heard those words of rejection “I don’t love you anymore, and I never want to see you again”, those same sandy shores where depression wrapped me in in its clutches and I thought suicide was my only way out, those same sandy shores where I thought I was unlovable and worthless and there was no point to my life. I am treading those same sandy shores again, but now all those things have given way to hope. I don’t know the inner workings of how it happens, I don’t think anyone really does, but when we let Jesus into our lives and don’t fight the work He is doing change happens, I don’t know how it just does.
You may have to trade happy hour for Bible study.
You may have to stay out of the clubs Saturday nights so you can get up and go to church on Sunday morning.
Rather than going on the tropical vacation, go on a mission’s trip instead.
Do what you have to do to run towards the love, and the love will meet you where you are.
If you are going to run,
Run towards the love.