So, in all honesty, before this week, I had never read the book of Jonah. I didn't grow up in a church-every-Sunday-and-twice-during-the-week sort of home, and up until recently, I've never even had a desire to read my Bible on my own. I had to say all of this as a disclaimer because apparently the book of Jonah is a mega popular one (it's about the guy getting eaten by a fairly gigantic fish for those that need a refresher) and I've really only gotten all touchy feely with it in the last four days. I'm excited though, because I'm currently [slowly] rereading it with the SheReadsTruth crew and now as mentioned in the title, I'm writing a devotion on the first two chapters! It's going to be short, but let's jump in.
I know I usually add the scripture into the post, but because we're going through two chapters today, I'm going to have to pass and just let you click here.
I looked into all the fancy resources and specific meanings of words and whatnot, but ultimately, I think that this book has a pretty straightforward story and I really just want to hone in on a couple little details.
So then, if it's that straightforward and you're only gonna explain a little part, what's going on here? Here's what: God tells Jonah to do something and Jonah says no and flees. Okay...hm. God tells Jonah to do something, and Jonah says no. Sound familiar? How often is it that we find ourselves running from what God is calling us to? Maybe it's going to make us uncomfortable; [in my case] maybe we'll actually have to talk to a real life human being and so therefore we're gonna just shut the doors and close down shop. Well, what God shows us here is that ultimately, even though we are foolishly trying to flee in that moment, ultimately He is going to accomplish what He wills even if that means putting us into the belly of a whale and making us live there for a couple of days.
But wait, if God's going to do things His way regardless of how I feel, then I'm just a puppet and have no purpose. Right? No, completely wrong. The beautiful thing about God's will is that He accomplishes it through us! Do I deserve to be able to make cookies with my neighbor lady and talk about the gospel with her? Heck no, but maybe God is using me in the story of her salvation because He just loves us both that much. Yesterday's SRT devotional hit the nail on the head perfectly:
"God wanted Jonah. Goodness, isn’t that amazing? I sometimes feel like I’m a sub-standard version of the person who should actually be living my life. And the truth is, I do fall short. Probably there is someone who would be a better mother to my kids, wife to my husband, friend to my friends. But despite my imperfections and failings, I am the best mother for my children, wife to my husband, and I am the best friend to my friends! Because God gives specific callings to specific people. That means God wants me for my particular calling and life."
I honestly need to preach that to myself every single day when I wake up! Because of what Jesus did, I am able, and because God loves so fervently, our journeys are not meaningless or in vain! God is using us for big things! So if we're running, let's just stop. If we're kinda just waiting for God to show us His purpose for us, let's pray about it!
I'm excited about the ways that God is using this book as encouragement in my life currently, so my hope and prayer is that maybe this week, you'll meditate on it with me and come back on Friday fully ready for more devotion and discussion and encouragement and whatever else there is to be had!