27 March 2014

Extraordinary Mercy: Jonah 1 & 2

The story of Jonah is so familiar to me. Sometimes so familiar that I don't pay much attention to little details after reading and hearing it so many times, which is one reason I decided to embark on the She Shares Truth journey. There's so much more to this story. This is a story of grace and mercy.

I easily see myself in Jonah. It all happens so fast in the first chapter and by verse 3, Jonah has already up and fled from the presence of God. The words "But Jonah rose up" caught my attention. The word "but" is used in reaction to fear, uncertainty, doubt or sometimes exclaiming a point. There are so many times God has spoke to me or called me to do something and my first reaction is to say "BUT God..." and what follows is countless excuses, fears, and reasons why I'm incapable. I could easily replace Jonah's name with my name in that verse.

When God called Jonah, fear got ahold of his heart. (When I become bound by fear, I can talk to God about them and He'll grace me with strength to carry on). Worries began to take control. The funny thing is that Jonah thought he could run and hide from God. Eventually he became tired of running. He was running in the wrong direction for so long that he became exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually.

Jonah was in the valley between his comfort and God's will. Real trouble comes in the valley in between.

Psalm 139:7, 9-10 says:
"Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me."

Wherever you're running to is not where God wants you.

In Chapter 2, we read Jonah's prayer. As Jonah is sitting in the belly of a fish, he finally realizes that he deserved death but God had shown him extraordinary mercy. Extraordinary mercy. Isn't that just like God to show us grace, mercy and countless second chances when we deserve death?

That same extraordinary mercy is chasing after you. Let God pursue your heart.

This post is a link up with She Reads Truth.

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