The story of Jonah, in the Bible, is the inspiration behind this blog. God sent Jonah to Nineveh but he chose to go to Tarshish. One of the reasons I can make out for Jonah’s actions was that he didn’t believe the people of Nineveh deserved God’s grace.
Other reasons for Jonah’s rebellion are not obvious. While his internal journey and wrestling may not be apparent, his actions are there for us to examine.
We learn that Jonah paid a price to go in the opposite direction. That took him on an uncomfortable journey. His journey of disobedience involved a wrestle within himself. His disobedience impacted the people he came into contact with and put their lives at risk.
Not only that, the people he was supposed to reach were also at risk if Jonah didn’t complete his God-given assignment. What God wanted Jonah to do was a heart for what He (God) had a heart for. His desire was for Jonah’s actions to align with that heart.
Thus, the equation has Jonah wanting his own way and will. It involves God’s steering Jonah back to God’s will – a display of God’s grace and love for Jonah and the people He wanted him to reach as a result.
God’s grace didn’t allow Jonah to walk away from His purposes for his life and for other people through him. There is hope in his story in that, eventually, He will steer me to who I need to be and what I must do.
The reason I Am Jonah, why I identify with him, is because I’m constantly wrestling with who God wants me to be. He shows me what he wants me to do and I don’t always get it right.
I have assignments He gives me that I don’t always get to the instant He gives them. Circumstances, conversations with myself and other things help me go the opposite direction. It is not that I don’t agree with God, it is that I don’t always find it easy to accept the assignments and what he wants of and for me.
This is blog is an expression, a journal of ‘my- Jonah-self’. I hope to not only feature my musings and wrestling but that of others in their Jonah moments. I want to do this not just for the sake of it, but also as a way of trying to make sense of what it means to follow Jesus, the Christ. It is a way of being real with what Christ followers go through.
As we grapple with the various aspects of what it means to become more like Christ I hope being open books makes following Christ more desirable for others. I hope it encourages those already in the walk to dare, with greater tenacity, to align themselves with God’s will and heart for them.
My desire is that it helps us to appreciate the impact that we are and what we do, in relation to God’s ‘call’ on us, to those around us. To the ones He sends us to. This is about real, everyday life. It is not about being ‘hyper spiritual’ nor being belligerent, but being plain real…
I’m not perfect. I know God has a plan and for and through my life. I just don’t always get it. And, as much as I can point fingers at Jonah, in the Bible, more and more I realize that I, too, am Jonah. Though my name is Blessing, I am also, Jonah. I am Jonah.