It's Hard to Swallow
As I sit and ask the Lord what He would have me write today, Jonah stands out to me. I confess that this is one of those stories that I have to be drawn to by the Lord to read because my humanity gets in the way of me wanting to dive in myself. I get angry at Jonah's disobedience. I get angry at Jonah's pouting. I get angry at Jonah's...well his humanity.
I sit and wonder about what angle to approach writing about him and his fascinating story, and I catch myself dealing with more than anger. I am literally dealing with bitterness right now, and I cannot fathom why! Perhaps this is one reason his name came to mind today. (You see, I have asked the Lord consistently to search me and deal with anything in me that doesn't please Him. Bitterness doesn't please Him at all.)
Why would I be bitter at a man whom I have never met? Even as I typed "fascinating" earlier in description of his story, I felt it come out with sarcasm...and that concerns me! (Yes, I am being very transparent right now, and I realize that my humanity may bother somebody who reads this. I genuinely apologize.)
I do ask you to allow the Lord to search your own heart. It is easy for us to hold up the magnifying glass and dissect the failure and consequences of lives written about in the Word. But to allow the Lord full access to dealing with our own messes can be a little difficult, to say the least.
Perhaps that's it in a nutshell. I don't like sifting through Jonah's mess because it reveals my own...just as Jonah didn't like confronting Nineveh with their mess. It truly revealed his own.
I believe there are people in our lives who are in place as indirect mirrors to show us our issues. We may find ourselves even dealing with bitterness concerning these people - because for some reason they bring out the worst in us. That is not their faults!
Lord, please forgive me for subconsciously "blaming" someone else for my stuff. I would rather be vomited out in humility than swallowed up in my own pride.
Father, thank You for showing me how Jonah and others in my life stir stuff in me that isn't good. Please help me to humbly allow You to deal with me and lead me in Your ways. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
The Book of Jonah