What are you running from?

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

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. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. Jonah 1:3-4 (NIV) 

I had a literature lecturer in varsity who pointed out that in most stories there is a character that is on the run. 

He challenged us to look at what the character was running towards rather than what the character was running from. 

I’ve been thinking about this in light of the story of Jonah lately. 

God told Jonah to go a place called Nineveh. God was pretty clear that this was his plan for Jonah.

Jonah didn’t really like God’s plan so he ran in the opposite direction. 

One dark stormy night, on the voyage away from Nineveh, Jonah was thrown off the ship into the sea. 

God sent a whale to swallow him like plankton. 

Jonah stayed in the belly of the rather large mammal for three days and three nights until God ordered the whale to vomit Jonah onto a beach just outside of Nineveh. 

It was the exact place that Jonah had been trying to avoid.

The problem for Jonah was that it was the only place in the world that God wanted him.

Jonah thought he was running from God but instead he was running right into the arms of God (even if though were wet and huge like the mouth of a whale). 

I like that story because it reveals that Jonah - who was actively running away from what God wanted him to do – ended up running right to the exact place God wanted him to be. 

I like that story because it reminds me that God can find me anywhere, that there is no where I can run that is too far for God too reach

I like that story because it exposes how I don’t need to run away from my problems, that if I run into the arms of God he will give me the strength to see them through. 

God is consistently, and lovingly, guiding us to the exact place he needs us to be right now. (tweet this)

Knowing that God will send a whale even when I run from him instead of towards him reminds me that he is a God of love.

Ponder: What do you want to run away from in your life? How would your perspective on the problem change if you thought about what you were running towards? 

Prayer: God, help me to run towards you rather than away from my problems. (tweet this)

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