My daughter set up a nail salon in her room one morning. She had everything from business cards to bowls of warm water. When she asked her younger brother if he would come to get his nails done the first time, he firmly responded, “No, I’m a boy.” The second time she pleaded with him and he said, “Emma, I can’t. I have to go fight crime.”
I laughed until I thought about all the excuses I have come up with over the years to get out of something God had nudged me to do. How many times have we felt God tugging at our hearts to do something and we respond quickly with “I can’t do that”? Then as he continues to pursue us we make up excuses. They seem legitimate. I don’t have time, they might think I am crazy, they won’t listen to me anyway so why bother, it is out of my way, it’s not on my schedule for the day. . . . We just reason ourselves out of it.
The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2“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. Jonah 1:1-3
I am just as guilty of this as anyone else! When we turn down these opportunities – we are turning down God and the opportunity to share His kingdom, His love, His mercy, His Word with someone who might need it desperately. God wants to use us to bring others to His Kingdom. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity like that. It is what I live for – what we should live for. The good news is that it isn’t to late. It’s never to late with God. Even if we turn away from Him – He will never turn away from us. Open your heart and mind to the will of God today, let Him pour into your life and He will seep out into all your actions.
Then Jonah prayed to his God from the belly of the fish. He prayed:
“In trouble, deep trouble, I prayed to God. He answered me. From the belly of the grave I cried, ‘Help!’
You heard my cry.You threw me into ocean’s depths, into a watery grave,With ocean waves, ocean breakers crashing over me. I said, ‘I’ve been thrown away, thrown out, out of your sight. I’ll never again lay eyes on your Holy Temple.’Ocean gripped me by the throat. The ancient Abyss grabbed me and held tight. My head was all tangled in seaweed at the bottom of the sea where the mountains take root. I was as far down as a body can go, and the gates were slamming shut behind me forever—
Yet you pulled me up from that grave alive, O God, my God! When my life was slipping away,
I remembered God, And my prayer got through to you, made it all the way to your Holy Temple.
Those who worship hollow gods, god-frauds, walk away from their only true love. But I’m worshiping you, God, calling out in thanksgiving! And I’ll do what I promised I’d do! Salvation belongs to God!” Jonah 2:1-9