So I did not have a post ready for this morning. Not exactly sure why but I just did not. I watched Twitter yesterday as several tweeted about an editorial they did not agree with. I watched as harsh words were exchanged and yes, even crass language used to express opinions.
To be honest, my heart hurt.
My heart breaks for world events and the atrocities which are taking place. I often wonder how people can become so filled with hatred and a desire to harm and kill others. How can we overlook that these are actual persons, someone’s sons and daughters? And how can we then turn on one another, using our words to cut down others even within the Church?
I am having a hard and difficult struggle with it all.
And then God shows up, in His Word, and speaks to my heart – deeply ….
I have been reading from the book of Jonah for a few weeks now. I know it is a story so familiar to us all. We know about the great fish and how it swallows Jonah. We never forget the same fish vomits Jonah up on the shore.
Yet hidden in this short book this morning was a revelation of God Himself. A revelation of Who He is and how He truly feels towards each one of us drawing breath this very minute.
Jonah had finally obeyed God and gone to Ninevah with the message God had given him to deliver. The result was repentance of a people for whom Jonah did not want spared.
Jonah was mad as all get out at God. Seriously. And he complains and rants to God …
“Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord?” (Jonah 4:2, NLT)
Umm, that would be an affirmative, Jonah, for God always does exactly as He says.
“That is why I ran away to Tarshish!” (still verse 2)
Did Jonah really think his running away was going to stop God from bringing His Word and salvation to Ninevah?
And then Jonah states what he knew all along (and please don’t miss it!) …
“I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.” (the remainder of verse 2)
Jonah knew his God. He knew God was about saving people. He knew God would do whatever it takes and go to whatever lengths are necessary to bring people to Himself. Jonah knew people are of the utmost importance to our God.
Today my prayer is for us, God’s people, to be more like Him. Towards all people.
Towards those in foreign countries. And those within our borders.
To those outside of The Church. And to those within The Church.
To those we agree with. And to those we disagree with.
Let’s be like Him.
Eager to turn from destroying people.
Filled with love.