Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jonah 4:3-4

"Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for is it better for me to die than to live.
Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?"
Jonah 4:3-4

Jonah went through a lot to come to this city and tell them that it would be destroyed, and he was pretty upset. He left his home and his country, almost died in a storm, and then spent three days in the "belly of hell" as he called it. ... Then he traveled for three days (not by car) to come here. It's easy to think of Jonah as a drama queen at this point, but I think, to him, it probably seemed like God made everything that he did and worked for, and all he had suffered to come to this point, worthless... and Jonah is so upset at how things are going that he asks God to die.
I think this happens to us too. Not that we're always suicidal, but whether we get to that point or not, sometimes in the moment things seem wrong, or unfair, or like nothing we've done has accomplished anything and our presence on the earth is utterly pointless. We're angry or frustrated or overwhelmed or hurt or confused or lost... to the point that we want to give up and stop trying. We've had enough, and we're done. And this is the point where God steps in and says "Doest thou well to be _____?" ... and it isn't always anger, but there is always something there that we feel so strongly about that it makes us want to walk away from trying... from the church, or from life, from a job or school or family, or even from God.
Like Jonah, we've all gone through a lot, and suffered more than we want to. But also like Jonah, we need to take a step back and remember the purpose of it all. When things happen that we don't expect or that we don't want or understand... it doesn't mean that everything we've been working for is pointless or worthless. It only means that this wasn't the ultimate goal. It's another lesson in becoming more like God... in learning to be better than we are and more refined. And if we can see it for what it is, hang in there and come through the trial, we'll be better people... and whatever it is that we lost will either be restored to us, or something better will be. I don't think that it means that we can't have our Jonah moment and sit in the dust and wish we could quit... that happens. ... But it does mean that we need to get back up, brush off our attitude a little, and try again. Today, let's work on taking the long view: see past our current circumstances at what God is trying to make us into, and remember not to be angry when God is working to save the city... and us. :)

1 comment:

  1. Z, this is definitely inspired, and definitely not babbling. Thanks for a great post.


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