Many are familiar with the story of Jonah, so as I began to approach this book again I prayed to read it with fresh eyes. As I read in a lectio divina inspired manner, verse 12 in Jonah chapter 1 is what I focused on. It reads:
Was Jonah too scared to jump? If he couldn’t follow God’s command, could he not follow through with his plan either? Or how sorry for himself did he feel? Was he expecting death? If so, how terrifying and frustrating that God provided a fish to swallow him?!
No matter what Jonah did, he couldn’t escape God. When he ran, God stopped him with a storm. When he offered to die, God kept him alive in a fish.
It is frustrating when God means it.
When you are called by God you can disobey but you can’t escape. It is in these moments of fleeing we realize our efforts are fleeting. Instead of destruction, we are broken. And I see a lot of grace in that. Brokenness is a result of the mercy of God. When we flee (or pursue isolation) God doesn’t give us over to annihilation. In His mercy He BREAKS us in order that we repent and rightly pursue what God has called us to do!
Brokenness is kindness, and it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance!