Second Time

I was reading in Jonah this morning and I love the honest view we get of this guy.

If you’re not familiar with this passage, God sends Jonah on a mission trip with specific instructions. Instead of following God’s plans, Jonah decides to go in a different direction which doesn’t take him to his planned destination because he is swallowed up by a large fish. The lengths God goes to in order to grasp our attention, amazes me.

Jonah 1:1-2 (NIV) The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “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.

He ran away from the Lord…I look at my life and I think of how many times I have done this very thing. I have missed out on so much because of my lack of cooperation to say yes to the roles God has had specifically for me.

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…this makes me realize that just like Jonah, I have been deliberate in fleeing from God at times in my life. I have made plans to live out sin…wow.

Recently, my friend from high school, Carol (Kroeker) Hofer, posted a picture on Facebook of a beautiful cake she had made. It really caught my eye and not just because of all the delicious looking frosting, but the message she wrote on it.

I want this to be what my heart says to God, but instead I know at times my heart beats the same rhythm that Jonah’s did.

This week I’ve made some decisions that reflect that I’m tired of ending up in the belly of a  whale like our boy Jonah did.

I want to be a woman whose heart says to God consistently without a hint of hesitation,

“Anywhere You Lead, I’ll go.” 

Part of the prayer Jonah prayed from inside the fish is found in Jonah 2:4

I said, ‘I have banished from Your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple. 

Jonah’s repentant heart moved God into action, verse 10:

And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. 

This is my favorite part of the book that starts out chapter 3:

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.

Second time…Jonah blew it the first time around when God asked him to go out on the mission field. I’m so thankful that we have a God that will always give a second chance and beyond when our hearts pour out to Him in true repentance. Jonah got it. He obeyed and went. And even though it was the second time, God used his obedience in a mighty way.

God’s worth pursuing the first time around, but because of His grace we can return to Him with a heart that screams, “Anywhere You lead, I’ll go.”         {Tweet this now}

Blessings,

Click HERE to read the rest of the short and powerful Bible story of Jonah. 

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