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Growing up, I heard the story of Jonah and the Whale.
And the story was nothing like what I studied this week. Or maybe, it’s that I didn’t realize how it directly related to my life… it was just a Bible story I heard in Sunday School.
“Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgement against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” (vs 2)
God has never told me to go to Nineveh directly.
But He has told me, in a gentle whisper to do something.
To take a meal to someone, to give money to someone on the street corner, to call someone, to send a card, “To be the light of the world.”
Sometimes I’ve done it.
A lot of times I haven’t.
“But Jonah got up and went int he opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape the Lord by sailing to Tarshsish.” (vs 3)
I’ve never been on a boat except at the lake, and I’m not even sure where Tarshish is, but I have gone the other way and ignored the gentle whispers of God’s voice.
More than once.
I am just like Jonah.
“But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart.” (vs 4)
I have encountered storms in life that I believe could easily have been avoided had I just listened. Obeyed… Trusted.
Too many times I’ve relied on myself. My own power, my own choices… ME, ME, ME.
And where has that gotten me so far?
“Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold.” (vs 5)
That’s right, afraid.
Afraid of reactions, judgement, laughter, or thoughts.
But not of my God… my peers.
Not even the One I’m supposed to be pleasing.
Created in His image. I am called to Go. To be a light.
It’s hard to do that, when you don’t listen…
What better time than now?
Now is your chance.
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
You may be called to go far away like Tarshish or just next door.
Wherever you are called, be a light. His light.
“You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14
If you’ve missed an opportunity, ask for forgivness and that He give you another chance to serve Him. Praise Him for using you, calling you to serve.