I listened to a teaching on the book of Jonah this morning. Turns out, the story is not about the whale.
It’s about Jonah – and you! and me! – running from what God has for us because it doesn’t quite line up with our own version of “the good life”. We run for our lives thinking we know better, that our plans are the best only to discover that by not obeying and aligning ourselves with what God is asking us to do, we’re actually running away from true, abundant life.
It feels so backwards, doesn’t it? So upside down. But also, so incredibly freeing. I don’t have to worry! I don’t have to self-protect or self-promote! I am free to be me and step towards the things of God and the plans he has for my life even though is not all clear because He is loving and kind and generous with his abundance. It doesn’t mean it’s easy to trust and obey – I am pretty stubborn and think my ideas of the good life are quite good. I guess that’s what Jesus meant when he said the way to to find life is to deny ourselves and follow him.
I’m in. However terrifying it might be.
So the whale part of the Jonah story is cool and all, but the very best part is God’s extravagant mercy and grace to rescue us from ourselves.