So, “Jonah was a prophet, ooo-ooo, but he really never got it, sad but true, if you watch him you can spot it, doodlie do, he did not get the point.” So if you know Veggie Tales and you have seen their movie Jonah, you know the song I just quoted. However, I often find myself acting in the same way Jonah did. I clearly understand that God tells us to, ‘”Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”‘ Mark 16:15 So why do I often do as Jonah did and say I don’t want to and run in the other direction? Below are some thoughts that came about while the senior pastor at our church was doing a series on Jonah.
How often does God have something for me to do and I go kicking and screaming? “I don’t want to!” I stamp my foot like my two year old and cross my arms. “Do I have to?” I whine like my five year old. Or even worse I arch my back and wail like my 8 month old.
“Daughter I have given you a story to share. Share it.”
“But it hurts Lord, I don’t want to!”
“Daughter I have given you that story to bless others. You prayed that those situations would bring Me glory.”
“But I do I have to share that story God?”
“Daughter I have given you strength beyond your capabilities, I have given you eloquence beyond your understanding, I have given you experiences bigger than yourself that you might share them with others.”
I arch my back and wail….
Then I wonder why God isn’t using me. How can I be of importance to His kingdom? What am I to do? His answer is “go and tell.” My answer is so often, “no.”
Father forgive me. Forgive my stubborn stiff necked ways. Forgive my hard heart that holds my experiences with You tightly. Forgive my selfishness that doesn’t share Your river of life with those who are aching for it as in the dry and weary land. Oh Father that I would have a heart like Yours. That I would lay down my hopes and dreams, my plans, my expectations at Your feet. Lord that I may say with Your Son, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” That I would suffer for You. Not because of my sin, not because of my hard heart, but because I am willing to say no to myself and yes to Your will. Father prune my vine of the things that distract me from serving You. Father I trust that as I die to my hopes, my plans, that I will grow like a seed to produce more and more fruit for Your glory and honor. Sovereign One, as I release my grip on the direction I want and think my life should go, may I rest in knowing You love me, You have plans for me, and You are never out of control. The pruning makes the plant more beautiful so I pray my life may be more clearly reflective of Your beauty. The death to myself allows me to bear much fruit and allows others to see You more clearly. Finally resting in the back seat as You control and direct my life gives me peace, endurance, and joy that in all things that Your name will be honored glorified.