“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV).
The story of Jonah is a story that can seem a little outlandish for the average person. They can’t wrap their minds around the storm, the big fish, the city’s revival, the sun, the east wind, and the plant all playing a role in this four-chapter saga. If not for the Christian’s belief in the inerrancy and validity of Scripture, it would be easy to see this as fiction. The reality is we can relate to Jonah because we too have the urge to run when God is seeking to interrupt our life and plans with His plan.
I wish Jonah had the hindsight of reading the four chapters as we have. He would have seen that what he considered an unreasonable request was really an invitation to participate in one of the more supernatural events in all the Old Testament—one that would not only make a mark in the Old but the New Testament as well. Luke 11:30 says, “What happened to him was a sign to the people of Nineveh that God had sent him. What happens to the Son of Man will be a sign to these people that he was sent by God.” He couldn’t have known that his story would be studied by millions desiring to draw closer to his God.
How often are we in a place where we either can’t figure out what God is doing and disagree when God invites us to change our plans for His? It is easy when everything is going well. But what happens when the road is strewn with potholes and God seems to be leading you into the middle of nowhere. We accept God’s power and sovereignty, but we do question His plans just like Jonah. If we could only see the end of the road.
The good news is we don’t need to see the end as much as we need to remember some fundamental truths. God can’t be measured. God can’t be contained, nor can He be explained. But He can be trusted. God sees more than we can see. He knows more than we know. He works in ways beyond our comprehension. (Isaiah 55:8-11) And if we agree to follow Him only when we understand and agree with what He’s doing, we’ll never experience a life built on trust. The Bible is littered with examples of trust. David praised God in the wilderness, even though he didn’t understand why he was running for his life instead of sitting on the throne. The Israelites praised God with a mighty shout before they knew how Jericho’s wall would fall. We can praise God as well knowing that what we know about Him is far more important than what we don’t.
The question for you and all of us is: Will we trust Him? The unexpected is always an opportunity to experience more of who God is. When we finally stop focusing on our plans we can begin to see God begin to work His higher purposes.
- What does trust in God mean to you?
- What competes with or inhibits our trust in God?
- What does trust empower us to do?