Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Jonah made ready to flee . . . away from the Lord

Jonah made ready to flee . . . away from the Lord. (Jonah 1:3)

Have you ever been in a store or a crowded park and seen a small child making a beeline away from his parents? More often than not, the parents are right behind, following that child just as stubbornly as he is running away! This is essentially what is happening in the first reading as Jonah makes a beeline away from God and his calling.

The Book of Jonah is a classic example of how stubbornly God sticks by us. He never stops chasing after us, no matter how far from him we wander. Consider Jonah’s defiance: he boarded a ship headed in the opposite direction that God wanted him to go. But that didn’t bother God. He just found a way to set him back on course.

It would be so much easier for us, as well as for God, if we didn’t run away so much. It would be so much easier if we didn’t see God as our enemy, but as our protection against our enemies.

God is infinitely creative in the ways he chases after us and provides for us. In Jonah’s case, he used a deadly storm and a huge fish to convince him to turn around and take up the call to prophesy. In our case, God will sometimes use “storms” to shake us up and help us see that we have been running in the wrong direction. But how much easier it would be if we were just to stop running and let him “catch” us, like the parent of a fleeing child! Not only would it help him bring us to a place of safety and peace, but it would also help us see that his will is always our best choice.

If you feel as if you’re fleeing from God today, stop and remember good old Jonah and his misadventures. Let God catch you and bring you into his protection. If you’re not running away, rejoice that God is keeping you safe. Offer a prayer for someone else you know who is running. May the Lord catch them!

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