“But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart.” Jonah 1:3&4 NLT
Even though I find it a little funny that Jonah tried to get away from the Lord. I think about times in my own life when I have done the same. I am thankful for a Father who presses in and doesn’t leave me in my wondering. He gently brings me back to him. He hears my cries for help. And answers me.
“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. He said, “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord, you heard me! You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild stormy waves. Then I said, ‘O Lord, you have driven me from your presence. Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’ “I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned by the earth, whose gates lock shot forever. But you, O Lord my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple…For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.” Jonah 2:1-9 NLT
I can relate to Jonah more than I’d like to admit. He not only let fear get the best of him and he fled. But, he was letting his feelings of anger and bitterness cause him to disobey. He had to give up his control of the situation. And let God handle it. What situations am I trying to control?
“The Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?” Then Jonah went to the east of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen in the city.” Jonah 4:4 NLT
God let Jonah wrestle through his feelings. He was patient and merciful. He asked him a question, instead of trying to tell him how to feel.
Thank you Father for your patience towards me. For working through the process even when it is hard. For understanding my pain, but not wanting me to stay there. Give me a love for others that only comes from you. Amen.
“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11&12 NLT