by: Judy Nichols-Wilson
The God of a second chance. Read Jonah Chapters 1 and 2
I am sure that you are familiar with the story of Jonah. God chose him to do a specific work in the city of Nineveh. You would expect a man of God to passionately follow God's request. But just like each of us do at times, this was a moment of weakness. Jonah must have figured that his thoughts were better than God's thoughts and he decided to escape -- to hide from God. He thought he could get away from God if he ran away far enough.
Think about this - are you running from what God told you to do? Has He placed within you a ministry that you have neglected to share with His people? Are you hiding?
Hiding may include walking in unforgiveness of others; neglecting to worship with others in the house of the Lord; or maybe just turning a deaf ear to what you know that God is calling you to do.
David said (Psalm 139:7-12) in essence there there is no where to hide from God.
- Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
- If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
- if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
- If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
- If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Initially we may feel that this text would indicate that we are bound by God - but look again. It speaks of His protective hand even though we wander away. God remained with Jonah just like a loving parent remains with his/her child when the child has been disobedient.
- When the storm rages in your life - Don't run
- When things are not going as you wished - Don't run
- When you are hurt by those whom you love, Don't run
- When you are in crisis no matter which way you turn - your children are not doing as you trained them; your spouse has left you, the economy has engulfed you within its clutches; your job security has vanished; there is a health crisis; you are being bullied by family, friends, supervisors and the world at large - Don't run!
This is your doorway back to God. Feel His protective hand on you - steadying your spirit and reassuring you that things will be okay. Recognize the fact that He has you. Remember that God heard
- The cry of the thief on the cross
- The weaping and disappointment of the adulterous woman
- David within all of his downfalls and dispair
- The cry of Joseph when his brothers threw him away
- The cry of His children when they were in bondage in Egypt
- The lamenting of Job when he was tested on every side.
Jonah had been "hearing" God but now he has decided to "listen" and follow God's will. The Word of God says "Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only." James 1:22 . Get going on what God has called you to do, and Don't Run!!! Take your second chance - and let it bless others.
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Even when I try to run from God, I always run into Him.