Jonah. My man. In reading these two chapters this week I feel like I see them....him....with new eyes. I'm a runner I am. At times it has given me direction...at times the opposite direction of where I needed to be. Two years ago I found myself right in the middle of a raging storm. My running from Him had gotten me on a ship to not anywhere near where He had called me to be. And I was sinking fast. So at the lowest of lows, after jumping head long into the winds and waves, I told Him I couldn't do it anymore. I could not keep myself from drowning and taking all those with me right along too....and I found myself right in the middle of a place that I didn't necessarily want to be. There are days, these last couple of years, that have felt like a big stinky fishes belly. It's been lonely and scary and downright yuck at times. But I found myself face to face with my own disobedience right there and things just had to change.
The most interesting thing about Jonah and his running is that God used even His disobedience for His glory. Those guys on the ship, when it was all crashing down....they saw what could happen when we surrender ourselves to the Living God. And they were saved. On this journey of my own disobedience, I have seen God work amazing things...changes I would have never believed...when I acknowledged my sin and my God. When we say we can't and then say He can, we have the chance to show a world who doesn't know Him who our God is.
Face down in the belly of my own whale, I told God I would do it His way this time, I knew what He was asking and I said yes, just yes. And things actually got way worse before they began to get any better. The days and nights of Jonahs fish experience probably left him thinking...man, jumping over and saying yes to God sounded like the best way, but if I have to stay here in the belly forever and LIVE....I'm not so sure anymore..... sometimes we wonder if we will ever get out. I know I have felt that way for quite some time. But I know, that just like Jonah, my story doesn't end here. No. Honestly this is just the beginning. Dry land....direction and not running from, but too. God has been reminding me all week. Just don't run. He's reminded me what happens when I run from the hard work and let me say I have no desire to stay here in this belly any longer than He needs me too. So here I am....with a face full of sand and trying to gather my land legs once again. Leaving the ocean..and the whale behind. These things God used to change Jonah's heart for His purpose. These things God used to change my heart for His purpose. I wonder if he would ever look at the ocean the same? I know I don't, my own ocean. I see a place where I came face to face with my own self, my own sin...and it swallowed me whole...yet even in the place of our own destruction, God meets us and saves us and puts us back on track....begin again. Thankful.