if you remember Jonah, you probably remember that GOD punished him for his disobedience and let him spend 3 days in the belly of a whale.
But I wonder how many of you remember that this wasn’t the end of the story and that there was also something Jonah had to learn other than he needed to be more obedient.
I had read the story many times and I never really thought much about the Ninevites or about why GOD wanted Jonah to go there in the first place – in fact, I must admit that I didn’t even want to think about it much, since they were such evil people and sometimes, I am a bit like Jonah – are you?
I am assuming that I am not the only one…
What I mean when I say that I am sometimes a bit like Jonah is that not only do I sometimes like to not do what HE says to me or at least not immediately, but also do I sometimes find it a bit unfair of HIM when I see what HE does to save the “lost sheep” and doesn’t really appreciate the ones who serve HIM and do what they can to please HIM, sometimes I get jealous and feel I deserve more attention, more appreciation and then on top of not getting enough I am even supposed to give MORE and go many extra miles in order to help HIM save the ones who don’t even deserve it – in my eyes?
Take my offender for instance.
Why do I have to keep getting attacked and not be completely cut off from this creature whom I consider pure filth, a satanist, a black magician who has been trying to kill me for more than 7 years now? Why does MY FATHER prompt, even force me to pray for this “man” and every once in a while even send him some revelations – why does HE even care for this “man” to be saved and most of all, why does HE insist that I should be involved in it?
For my own good?
For growing my spiritual maturity?
YEAH??? REALLY??? ARE YOU SURE???????
Sometimes I want to cuss about this “task” even though I don’t swear anymore – and if I could have, I, too would have ran away long ago – only that I know that there is nowhere one can run to running from GOD… and don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I am a prophet – but I don’t even think that this “person” will ever repent and I honestly think that GOD is wrong if HE should think that. This man has done so much to me that I personally can not believe that he will ever turn to GOD.
Of course I know Paul and I love Paul and he is one of my favorite people in the bible. But do I believe that this man is like Paul?
Only GOD knows the heart of this man.
Me, I have seen evil and darkness in him for so long and I have seen nothing else.
Perhaps GOD even knows as well that it won’t happen…and maybe HE wants me to hang in there for the cause, not for the case…
Or perhaps my lesson is the same Jonah had to learn.
Or the love of a FATHER.
Because I don’t know if you remember what happened after Jonah had been vomited out of the whale’s belly?
Not only did the Ninevites repent, but also did GOD not destroy them as HE had made Jonah prophecy…
Jonah was angry and tiffed at GOD and went outside the city, sat there in a booth and asked GOD for his death.
What happened then was what needs to happen in me somehow (and perhaps in you, my friend, as well???)
Jonah 4: 6-11
6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.
9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
10 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
I don’t know if you have ever been angry at GOD and wanted HIM to take your life because of something HE wanted you to do or did not do for you?
Me, I have been there many times.
And it has mostly been because of this “man”, whom I don’t even consider a man…
I have forgiven him, yes, more for my own sake than for his sake to be honest but do I believe he deserves mercy?
Honestly, I do not.
If I am honest, I would love if MY FATHER would punish him.
Seems I missed the lesson here… yes, this wizard has been trying to kill me for more than 7 years and he has been tormenting me every day, every night and every single minute of this time – but what I sometimes don’t consider enough is that he can only do that because MY FATHER lets him.
And as long as I refuse to learn my lessons, I suppose that MY FATHER will not deliver me.
CHRIST loves everyone and me, I am being self-righteous and not christ-like at all when I believe that I deserve salvation and someone else does not – regardless of what they have done and of who they are, they are also made by HIM and HE wants everybody to be saved, perhaps the worse they sin, the more HE wants them to come home.
Do I believe that this man deserves salvation?
But that’s clearly not for me to decide, that’s GOD’s business alone whom HE wants to save.
What I am so frustrated about is that HE wants me to be part of it and I don’t want to do it, I don’t have the heart to care about the soul of this man, I don’t think I should be asked to help save the soul of someone who has been doing so much, in fact literally all that was in his power – to destroy mine.
I believe I should be out of this case.
After having found the grace and the courage to forgive this man with GOD’s help, I think that should be it for me.
But GOD doesn’t think so…
And who am I to know better and to not cooperate and to even be frustrated about my portion having to deal with this man for so many years and having to prophesy over him in the name of JESUS countless times and who am I to decide that I deserve to be freed and delivered from this burden now, before the task is completed?
I am the one who has to repent…
It may take some more time and a lot of prayer until I will be able to do so, but until I will be, I will most likely not be allowed out of the darkness and will be trapped in it – like Jonah… and just like him, I am angry about it.
And “should not GOD spare this man who cannot discern between his right hand and his left hand?”(see Jonah 4:11)
At the moment, my sincere answer to this question is not clear.
And I suppose it is the question I will have to ask myself over and over again – until I am ready and able to answer it with a whole – hearted “yes, of course!”.
Nobody ever said that it would be easy to follow THE LORD.
And it’s not.
That’s all I can say for the time being.
I know I will have to do what HE wants me to do sooner or later.
And at the same time, sometimes, I don’t know how…
I suppose I am not the only one.
At least I have a “famous” companion, Jonah.
Perhaps even some brothers and sisters still alive today and kicking (and screaming ;>)
Might it be you, my friend?
Did THE LORD ever ask something of you which you did not want to do?
And how did it go?
Would you care to share?
I hope and pray that this will inspire, heal and bless you and that THE LORD will bless you richly in all areas of your life and that HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and bring you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.