Running away

Running away | Misselainious blogYou know how you can read something over and over and enjoy it but then you read it later and something sticks out like blaring neon lights?  Well that happened to me last week when I was reading in Jonah.  It may only be four chapters but there’s a lot there.

God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah instead gets on a boat going the other direction.  It’s rather comical if you think about it because while we try to run, God is everywhere so we can’t really ever get away from Him.  Jonah is essentially saying, “I’d rather go anywhere but there even if it means I run as fast and hard from your presence as I can.”

I have to admit I’m a lot like Jonah.  God tells me things and sometimes it sounds unpleasant or I’m just being stubborn and I don’t want to do it.  I run but when we disobey God we are the ones that loose.  We miss out on the presence of the God of the universe and the very One who is love Himself.

Jonah tries to change the outcome of the story God is writing but thankfully he can’t.  You see God wants to make His love known to people that are running as fast as they can from Him.  He’s a God of mercy and grace.  He has a plan to rescue 120,000 people in Nineveh.  Yet Jonah runs.

Here’s what struck me this time.  Not only does Jonah end up going to Nineveh and rescuing thousands of people (because he gets swallowed by a huge fish and repents) but the people on the boat Jonah is fleeing in see the awesome power of God.  “So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging.  Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.” (Jonah 1:15-16 ESV)

God saw those men on the boat and he cared about them.  If Jonah had obeyed they wouldn’t have seen God show up like He did.  They wouldn’t have had an encounter with the living God.

Here’s what I think we need to hear.  We need to hear that our mistakes, running, and yes, even sin, is being worked for good if we’re in Christ.  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)  Did you read that?  ALL things.  Not just some things but all things work together for good for those that love Christ Jesus.

Jonah straight up sins and runs from God (and he should and does repent), even so we get a glimpse of something amazing.  Jonah was in the belly of a huge fish for three days and nights.  He got buried but God brought him back to accomplish the work he had for Jonah.  He rescued Jonah from running so that a whole city could find mercy.  Hundreds of years later Jesus would choose not to run.  He stayed so that we could stop racing away from God’s presence.  You see Jesus was buried in a tomb for three days so that we don’t have to run from God anymore.  Jesus was in the belly of the earth for three days so that all things will work together for our good in Christ Jesus.

You haven’t gone too deep or run too far for God’s love and grace to reach you.  God displays his glory and mercy even through our mistakes.

P.S.  Hey friend, want more encouragement in your life?  I’ve started a Dear Wednesday encouragement crew and if you’d like to be a part of it (and not miss out on the Wednesday post!) make sure to leave your email below or sign up here!  I’m excited to send you mail on Wednesday!

{Photo by: Paige Whiting}

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2 Responses to Running away

  1. Grace Anne August 16, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    …Woah. I never even thought about the fact that God used Jonah running to show His power to the people on the boat. That’s so cool. I love how there’s always more to learn from the Bible. <3

    • misselaini August 18, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

      Haha that’s exactly how I felt!

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