2 minute read.
Running is fruitless.
Jonah tried to run from God. His divine task wasn’t a pleasant one. God wanted Jonah to go to Ninevah and declare judgment on them. Jonah didn’t want to obey, so he headed to the local docks and boarded a ship heading in the other direction. God stirred up the seas, which caused the sailors to throw Jonah overboard. A fish swallowed Jonah. From the midst of the belly of the beast, Jonah cries out to God.
“I called to the Lord in my distress, and he answered me. From the depths of my watery grave I cried for help, and you heard my cry.” (Jonah 2:1 GW)
Jonah learned what we all know eventually, you can’t run from God. In a recent writing class on grief, the facilitator talked about running towards your pain. I realized I’d spent my life running from the painful moments in my life. But in reality, God wants us to bring our hurts to Him so He can make beauty from ashes.
Turn back to God.
Just like Jonah cried to God in his desperation, we can do the same. God wants us to turn to Him in the midst of our heartache. When we cry, God cries. The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept” (John 11:35 NIV) Why was Jesus crying? Because Lazarus died. Even though God knew Lazarus was a miracle waiting to happen, He still felt the human pain of the experience.
Life is painful. Broken relationships, loss of loved ones, children leaving the nest, all of these things are painful. When my summer women’s Bible study ended, I felt pain because the season ended. From big hurts to small, life is full of bruises and breaks to the heart.
But when we cry to God in our distress, He is waiting. Just like He rescued Jonah from the whale, God will save you from your beast. Turn to Him. God’s waiting to comfort you.
Lord, thank You for never giving up on us. Forgive us for trying to run from You. Help us process the pain we feel in our lives. Instead of running, let us turn to You. Heal our hurts, Lord, mend our broken hearts. Help us to live life fully in You. In You, we find life eternal. IJNIP. Amen.
Question for reflection
How’s your relationship with God today?