[It is Friday, and I stumbled across this post from last November. I want to post it again~ just in case some of you didn't read it. Sometimes we run from God's purpose for our lives because we are afraid. But..... Jeremiah 29:11 says that God wants to prosper us and NOT to harm us, to give us a hope AND a future. Dwell on that thought as your read this narrative.]
Pursuing God's Will
The smell was more nauseating than anything else. Couple that with the constant motion of the water and the seaweed wrapped around him, the man expected nothing but death.
How did he end up in this place? Why didn't God just let him die in the sea? Why did he have to end up here to die a slow, painful and agonizing death?
The gastrinal juices kept burning his flesh. Open sores were appearing all over his body. There was no way to be comfortable, no way to rest. Why couldn't he just die?!
He found a piece of wood and rested as much as possible. If he laid across it just right, then maybe he wouldn't have to tread water and dead fish so much.
He drifted to sleep.
He heard the voice. Plain, simple. No details yet, but that didn't matter. He heard God speak!
Once again he felt the excitement!
He was needed! God in heaven had a job for him. He was to prepare to take a message!
Just like the prophets of old Elijah and Elisha!
Maybe a scroll would be written about the things God would do through him!
Even in his dream, he smiled thinking of what the future would hold for him. His mother and father would be so proud. He was to be used of Yahweh!
At that moment the dream took a turn. The confusion pumped adrenaline through his body even in his exhaustive slumber.
God spoke again.
He listened intently.
He couldn't understand!
What?! What did God say!?
What was his assignment?
He could hear God speak, but he couldn't make out the words. In desperation, he moved closer to the sound of His voice. At his movements, his arms fell off the resting of the wood and his face hit the sea water mixed with rotten fish and digestive juices. The acid burned his face, nose and eyes. The seaweed continued to entangle him.
He was awake!
He shuddered when he realized he had been dreaming.
But it wasn't just an ethereal dream. His dream had been reliving his past.
God had called him.
He was afraid of the murderers and he ran.
He was past sobbing, past anger, past frustration. He was dying and was in a sleep deprived stupor.
He, Jonah, had failed God.
He was going to die in the insides of this giant fish and no one would ever know what happened to him.
Repentance filled his heart.
"Oooooooooh, God!!! Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!!!! I am sorrrrryyyy!! Please forgive me!"
The giant fish lurched forward. Jonah almost drowned again.
And as suddenly as he found himself inside of the fish, now he was out.
With the fresh breeze blowing on the shoreline, Jonah got a whiff of the putridness that engulfed him.
Excitement to be alive and free filled his heart!
He, Jonah, still had a job to do! He would fulfill his vow to God and deliver the message to the wicked city of Nineveh.
He, Jonah, had already stared death in the face and was alive still.
He, Jonah, would go to Nineveh and deliver the message of God!
This story has been in my heart for several weeks. Sometimes we lose sight of the message God wants to give us when we hear a Bible story over and over as children and adults.
Sometimes God asks us to do something without giving us all the details.
Our prideful hearts get a little puffed up as we "imagine" how God's plans will turn out.
Then, as God reveals the details to us, we are aghast that He would "dare" go against what our little hearts had imagined.
We can't see how His plan could possibly produce our expected outcome.
We argue with God and try to convince Him the "error" of His ways.
We then find ourselves ensnared as a product of our own choices.
God in His mercy, providence, and amazing grace is patient and provides a way of escape and gives us another chance.
His calling is without repentance.
His calling is in HIS divine plan.
I have a feeling I am not through with this subject.
May God speak to your heart and you submit totally to His will!