Thursday, November 11, 2010

Traveling to Ninevah

But Jonah got up and went the other direction to Tarshish,
running away from God.

Jonah 1:3 (The Message)

I can remember exactly which road I was driving when I uttered-- “Lord, I want to really know what it means for you to live in me and me in you.” At the time I thought it a prayer of honesty and perhaps, a point of "discussion" with God. He apparently took me at my word because since that day there have been more times than I can count that I have wanted to do a Jonah—get up and go in the other direction.

Jonah wasn’t ignorant of what God was asking him to do. He knew the politics of Ninevah and that his life could be in jeopardy if he went with God’s “message.” To follow God’s direction, to live in him, would be a dangerous delivery. Ultimately, he valued his life more than God’s control.

When God lives in me, control over my life is lost. And I can plan on hardships along the way that ultimately will draw me further up and further into the Kingdom of God. Ninevah was a hardship for Jonah but he didn’t control the ending.

Years later I realize that God has answered my prayer. In the beginning I fought my Ninevahs because, like Jonah, they were too difficult, too risky, too challenging, too dangerous. I have never gotten to Tarshish. But many of my Ninevahs have turned out better than expected. Of this I am certain, each visit has drawn me further into the Kingdom.

I hear your voice calling, God.
Help me to not run away in fear.
My desire is to move in the direction of each Ninevah you send my way.

Image - Jonah heads to Tarshish

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