If you grew up in church, or even just in the South, you know the story of Jonah and the big fish. All I remember is Jonah being swallowed but by a giant fish and living in his belly for a while before getting out. Until recently, I had thought he fell off the ship. I guess they soften things for kids, because he was actually thrown off…because he asked to be. Yep, cast overboard of his own decision.
Why? Let’s go back to the beginning. Jonah was commanded by God to go to Nineveh and preach, but guess what? Jonah didn’t want to do that. Nope. He ran away from God! What was he thinking? Can you actually do that? Instead of going to Nineveh(Middle East), he jumped on a ship heading the opposite direction to Tarshish(present day Spain).
Then, a giant storm came and Jonah asked to be “cast off” because he knew that this raging storm had come. The rest is history, he was swallowed by a fish and then later spat out after promising he would make good on what was asked of him.
So this got me thinking. God is not just going to let me just run away. No. He is going to pursue me with his relentless, passionate, absolutely overwhelming love. (Who doesn’t want to be pursued??)
I self-sabotage. I think I know what is the right thing for me. I try to control my life. What a crazy thought. What have I been running from? Where have I been afraid to go that I was being called?
There are things I have put off and put off. I have, in my humanness, avoided what I knew I should or should not be doing. Honestly, I just didn’t trust that I was capable of what he was asking of me. So, maybe all that struggle, all that heartache, all the trying to control was me in the belly of the fish. God was waiting for me to surface, waiting for me to let go, waiting for me to give in and do what he has put me here to do.
What have you run from?
How did God bring you back to where he wants you?