Monday, June 6 |

The Scariest Thing I've Ever Read

   "When he slew them, then they sought him, and returned and enquired early after God."
Psalm 78:34

When he slew them. When he killed them. When he caused them to suffer. When he took away family members. When he made them deathly ill. When he took away their possessions. When he brought famine and desolation. Then and only then did they seek Him.... sound familiar? 911, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes - what about a big fish?

First and foremost, my heart's desire is that I should never have to come to the place in my life where I'd have to be 'slain' for God to get my attention. Just the thought of it scares me to death (no pun intended).

Secondly, my heart aches for one in particular whom is slain continually but refuses to acknowledge the chastening hand of God.

God said "Jonah, go to Nineveh". Jonah said, "I don't think so. In fact, not only am I not going to go, I'm going to run as far away from there as I can get." Ok, I know this is a familiar story - which one of us, who's ever gone to church more than once, hasn't heard of Jonah and the Whale? He disobeyed, but was eventually 'persuaded' to do what God had asked him to do.

A couple of things have recently come to my attention in this story, however. Remember the audacity, the stupidity, even, of Jonah to actually be asleep, during a storm so bad that the ship was '.. like to be broken'? I had always marveled at that and wondered how could he possibly have been asleep? Revelation number one:  when we decide to go our own way, we are so convinced that what we're doing is ok, that we don't see the danger around us. 

Revelation number two: when the mariners asked Jonah what they should do for their lives to be spared, he simply stated 'cast me forth into the sea'. Now, I always took this to mean that he was sorry for what he'd done - for running from the Lord and causing this hardship on his fellow shipmates. I've now come to believe that this is not the case. This wasn't a moment of contrition - it was an act of cowardice. He was giving up. He was willing to die, rather than to admit he was wrong and do what was expected of him. At this I was dumbfounded; but I knew, because of my own past, and from watching another, that this was accurate.

What Jonah must have looked like when he finally arrived at Nineveh must have put the fear of God, literally, into those people! Can you imagine, hairless, skin all blotchy and discolored, and probably stinking 'to high heaven'? He probably didn't even have to say anything for them to repent! Enter revelation number three: Jonah was forever changed, not just on the inside, but also the outside because of the decision he'd made. He was probably scarred for life, both physically and emotionally. Scars are a terrible thing, whether you can hide them or not.

My heart breaks for one who already wears the scars of God's chastening hand. And I tremble at the thought of what must yet come for this life to be turned around.

Father, let me always be sensitive to your voice, that you not slay me (or someone I love) for me to hear you.

Fight the good fight,


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