But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
If we are going to learn one lesson this Lenten season than let it be this: We cannot outrun God. Jonah tried and he failed, but we should give his story a little attention and learn the details.
Jonah is a prophet of God, and as a prophet God calls upon Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against it. That would almost be the equivalency of one of us being sent to Las Vegas to walk up and down the strip announcing that God is going to condemn them if they don’t turn from their evil ways. Do you think anyone would listen? Do you think anyone would care? Have you ever been there? I went there about 10 years ago during the summer-time and it was quite the experience. I am not sure of what I saw that appalled me the most. No wait, I am pretty sure it was the men and women who handed out pictures of pornography and made sure it got into the hands of the children; yep, they would win hands down for most appalling.
Now as much as any of us would like to say we could tell them about the wrath of God, it wouldn’t be that easy. That is because bizarre and obscene is accepted in Las Vegas as was that and much worse in Nineveh.
Where has God asked you to go? Is it the inside of a cancer unit with someone you love? Is it at family court where you prayed you would never be? Is it packing up in boxes what is left of your life and moving? Is it jobless, homeless or heartbroken? Where did God send you, maybe you’re like me and have no clue? Sometimes where God sends us just makes no sense. We don’t go alone. Read the story of Jonah and highlight each time God talks to him. Notice that God is with Jonah the entire time. God sends Jonah, then God goes with Jonah to the ship, God is with Jonah in the fish, God goes with Jonah to Nineveh and God is with Jonah in the shade. The same God goes with us, too. Hey, when God sends us someplace we have two choices. We can go with God or we can try and outrun Him. But seriously, today what did we just learn?
Let us pray:
Father God, today I learned that there is no way I can outrun You. Therefore Father, help me to stop running and just accept Your help because You are here with me and that, Father, is precious to me. I do pray this in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen