Jonah 1:1-3, “The word of the Lord came to Jonah: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before Me.’ But Jonah ran away from the Lord …“Jonah 2:1, 9-10: “From inside the fish Jonah prayed: ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’ And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.’”Jonah 3:3, 10: “Jonah obeyed … and went to Nineveh... proclaiming, ‘Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.’ The Ninevites believed God. … When God saw … how they turned from their evil ways, He relented...”
When God calls you to do something hard, to step outside of your comfort zone, what do you do?The prophet, Jonah, was called to relay God’s message to others. But when God told him to go to an exceedingly evil city and tell strangers they needed to change, he tried to outrun God and hopped on a ship heading in the opposite direction! God wasn’t having it, and Jonah soon got the message. When a storm hit, Jonah knew that it was due to his defiance and asked to be tossed overboard to spare lives and calm the raging sea. But God had other plans…in the form of a large fish.In the belly of the fish, within the darkness, Jonah surrendered and turned back to God. He eventually led the Ninevites to salvation. What had seemed like a daunting and undesirable task was God’s plan, and, therefore, Jonah’s mission was a huge success!Jonah wasn’t a fearless hero — he was us. We’ve all tried to run from God. Maybe we fled from sharing the gospel; giving generously; or confronting fear, an unhealthy habit, or unforgiveness — only to run right into God. Yet, when we turn around in surrender and obey, we can accomplish amazingly God-blessed feats!Every day we have two choices: run from God or turn toward God. But, either way, we can’t outrun Him! So, what’s your turning point? A drastic situation? A guilty conscience? All you have to do is turn around. Today, will you say, “Yes” to God’s best? Even if it’s hard, do it and be blessed!
Jonah’s story is pretty remarkable! Read his story in the book of Jonah (it’s only four chapters long!) and let him inspire you to be ready to do whatever God asks of you!
Lord, Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Whenever I try to flee from obeying You, remind me to stop and turn around. Use me to accomplish great things in Your name! Amen.