I don’t know about you, but there are a few stories in the bible where I find myself really questioning the characters. One of those stories has always been the story of Jonah. Ever since I was little, hearing or reading that story would always get me stuck on the fact that Jonah ran away from the Lord and thought that he could hide.
Really, Jonah? You think you can hide from God? The creator of the universe, the person who formed you and sees everything before it happens? THAT’S the one you tried to hide from? That has always been what I think about when I read about Jonah. Then one day recently, I was driving and trying to convince myself that I was okay and I thought about Jonah. That day, I saw myself and realized how many times I tried to do exactly what Jonah did.
Jonah 1:1-3 (NIV) says, The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
The bible straight up says “But Jonah ran away from the Lord”.
Just for a moment I want you to think about yourself. How many times have you found yourself running? It probably didn’t look like running in the literal form like Jonah did, but how many times have you tried to drown your sorrows in something other than God? How many times have you turned to the wrong people, the wrong thing instead of crying out to God? How many times have you even just ignored that anything was wrong at all and tried to wait until it all just went away?
See, Jonah ran away literally and I can think he’s crazy but when I read the story I see how often I myself am Jonah.
There are more times than I can count that I’ve started running and ended up deep in the belly of a whale. My whales of course look more like broken hearts. They look like addictions. They look like problems that just keep getting worse. Is this how we really want to spend our lives ladies? Do we really want to be runners? I know my answer.
I don’t want to look at myself and see someone who thinks that they can hide from God when things get tough, and I’ve had enough whale belly for my whole life. I want to be a woman who faces a problem knowing that whatever it is- something done to me, something I’ve done, or something God wants me to do- that it is under control, and instead of running I’ll stand firm with God as my helper.
If you find yourself like Jonah hiding in a figurative belly of a whale today, I encourage you:
Don’t try and hide your actions from Him or your thoughts from Him. Don't hide your pains or your fears. He already sees it all, and he wants to care for you and help you. God counts us as his sons and daughters! That love is so strong and pure that we can’t even comprehend it. So whatever it is that’s keeping you from Him, lay it down and cry out. Cry out and ask for His help and He will be there.
My prayer for all of us is that we realize that we are never going to be able to outrun God.
Nothing is too dark, no-one is too lost and no secret is too big for our God. He is strong, He is mighty, He is compassionate, and He is the Father. Let’s run to Abba today ladies. Only that can fix whatever it is that we are fighting.