Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Leads Us Along"1 (Lyrics)
Jonah 1:1-3 – 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. (NIV)
We spotted them along the side of the roadway. They were year-old cubs. Their mother was nowhere in sight. There were two of them, and as they saw the van, they both began to run. One of them headed deep into the scrub. The other ran and hid behind a sapling. Thinking we could no longer see him, he tentatively peeked out from behind the scanty foliage. What a sight: this chubby black bear sticking out like a sore thumb from behind this skinny excuse for a tree, thinking that we couldn't see him. We both burst out laughing at this hilarious spectacle.
This remembrance has often caused me to wonder just how often God gets just such a kick out of watching me, as I, too, much like Jonah, run away from Him and what He has called me to do. I shrug off a command that I have read in Scripture. I turn away from a plea which I know I should answer. I decide to get serious about spiritual discipline later, not today; I'm too busy, or too scared, or simply not interested just now. I think that I can hide from God; He won't see; He won't know. What a laugh!
Jonah 1:4,15,17 – Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights. (NIV)
God knew where Jonah was every single minute. Jonah thought that he could hide, but he couldn't, and neither can we.
Am I, are you, attempting to hide from God today? If so, perhaps we should rethink our situation before God decides to take action and it's no longer a laughing matter.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that we cannot hide from You. Thank You that You know where we are every single moment and that Your patience and mercy are great amidst our foolishness. Help us to listen to You, to obey You, and to know that whatever it is that You are asking of us is for our good and not our woe. Bless us with courage to answer Your call before You need to take action to move us along. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.