“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu.
What do you do when you have messed up? You’ve gotten yourself in a bad situation as a result of poor choices and you’re not sure how to get out. Is it possible to get yourself in a situation so bad that there is simply no way out?
Maybe it started as a small spiritual matter and escalated until one day you look around and wonder if there is any way out of this. Sounds like the story of Jonah. The Lord had a ministry assignment for Jonah, but instead of going where God told him to go and doing what God told him to do and being what God told him to be, he went the other direction. He runs. But are we all that different? We struggle with everything God tells us to be in His Word. The same goes for everywhere God tells us to go in His Word. There are times when it goes against our logic or view so we don’t feel like doing what God is asking us to do. So in one way, shape or form, we run.
So what do you do when you’ve messed up? Jonah convinced himself that his way was better than God’s. He convinced himself that doing God’s will was optional and that he could do what he wanted and go where he wanted to go and get away with it. He didn’t. Jonah went down to the bottom of the sea. But what about us?
Studying the story of Jonah is an opportunity to evaluate whether there is any way in which we are running from God today either by commission: doing something God does not want you to do, or omission failing to do something He does want you to do. It could be that you are at odds with another person in your life and you know the Bible says that you should communicate with and try to be reconciled with that person. But you don’t like that idea. In fact, you feel the bitterness is warranted. Whatever is causing you to run, often leads to being in a hopeless situation; there seems no way out. But there is a way out. If you would be willing to repent, if you are willing to agree with God’s mission for your life, there is great hope for you regardless of what God had to use to get you to this point, and regardless of how long it took you to get there.
We need to conclude with Jonah that running from God is a terrible idea. The better idea is to draw near to Him, walk with Him, fellowship with Him. Jonah chapter 2 is a beautiful blend of the justice and mercy of God.
Feeling stuck in life or a situation can sometimes lead to isolation or confusion. When we don’t know what to do or what’s next it’s always best to have someone to talk to. And in those times of seeking counsel or community, God, the creator of the universe, wants to be there for you. God wants to comfort you and give you wisdom in times of darkness or confusion. Through a relationship with Him, we have a place to turn when we have nowhere else to go. If you feel hopeless or lost, you can find rest and comfort in the love of God today.
- Do you believe God is in control of everything? Explain why you believe He is or is not in control of everything.
- When was the last time you obeyed God even when His order did not make sense to you?