The people of the great city believe God.
God relented of the disaster He said He would do to them.
That's called mercy.
I need some of that.
I feel like I need to apologize to Jonah.
Last week, I wrote about how he disobeyed and a fish made him look bad.
This week, he's showing me how to be honest...even when it's not pretty.
Here's what I love about Jonah. He's being authentic; not hiding his thoughts, feelings or emotions. He's not saying to the Lord what he thinks He wants to hear. He's not saying one thing and secretly meaning the exact opposite. There's no mixing words or manipulation.
He's just being Jonah. Real. Raw. Authentic. Jonah.
He was angry. "But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry." (v. 1)
And then he prays. "And he prayed to the Lord and said..." (v. 2)
In his anger, he talked to the Lord. He didn't pretend to be happy or fake smile his way out of the city.
Angry and not hiding. That's a new one for me.
I hate to admit this but prayer is not always my first response. Just for realness sake, take a look at a handful of my first responses:
"No, I'm good."
"It's all good."
"It ain't nothing but a thang."
But it is.
This is what I'm learning. God wants it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. What is the point of hiding stuff from an all-knowing, all-seeing, Creator?
He wants it all. Like all. Every bit. Not some pre-packaged pretty little "God, I'm good."
He deserves realness. My authentic words. The real and raw words that I have crammed inside.
Jonah: "Lord, I'm so mad. Please just take my life from me." (v. 3)
Me: "Lord, I'm so mad. My life feels out of control. Finances are all jacked up. Lost a few hours at work. Teaching math to my son is hard. I haven't been on a date with my husband in forever. I'm waking up in the middle of the night in fear from trying to fix everything. Trying to do it all, God, and doing nothing well."
So Jonah, thank you and I'm sorry. Because of your example, I don't have to hide my thoughts, feelings and emotions from the Lord.
He created me and made me His own, not to make me look good, but for me to make Him look good.
We've got millions of souls on the line.
"And much cattle." (v. 11) :)
"Do we do well to be angry at that which is for the glory of God, and the advancement of His kingdom? Let the conversion of sinners, which is the joy of heaven, be our joy, and never our grief."