Its hard to serve a God who has a mind of His own. It is hard because at the point of our submission we cease to be fully in control.
When you hear about Jonah, typically you think of a few things: Nineveh, boat, storm, whale, yuck… You get the picture. We often think the story of Jonah is about Jonah, but there are themes much deeper than just a disgruntled employee of the most High.
The Book of Jonah tells of God’s compassion on humanity. Yes, His compassion. The people of Nineveh were Assyrians; and in case you skipped that day in World Civ class, the Assyrians were among the worst people in human history. Yet God still desired to save them from His very own judgement. Even the worst of the worst deserve a second chance in God’s mind.
But not in Jonah’s…
Jonah tried to run from God’s will, jealously holding God’s compassion for himself. You see, Jonah thought he had a right to God, that somehow because he was a prophet, he held the keys to God. But God has a mind of His own. And that is precisely what bugged Jonah. It sure is easy to follow a God who thinks the same way you do, but when God decides to have compassion on your enemies, following is hard to do.
I believe we are more like Jonah then we’d care to admit… We withhold God’s compassion for people we dislike and who are different than us, and we interfere with God when we disagree with His plans. Often that interference comes in the form of us simply doing nothing, thereby standing in God’s way.
Think I’m wrong?
Well how often do we drive by the homeless on the side of the road without stopping to give what cash we can or to lend a hand? How many times have we really talked about Jesus to that person who consistently talks behind our back? How often do we refuse love to a person who we haven’t forgiven yet?
Ever stopped to think why do you think God put you in those situations? Perhaps God is trying to use us to relay His compassion to a world who so desperately needs Him.
We don’t like it that God has a mind of His own and He is bent on compassion for people we dislike. Oh, and God also has a plan for us too, and it doesn’t involve us running away from Him out of protest. Be glad God’s will isn’t ours. If it were… well… you get the picture.
Accept the fact that God is God, and we are not. Life gets so much easier when we understand that idea.