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My five-year-old daughter and I were rough housing. I being the bigger one, won the wrestling match. I held her down and told her to say please. She squirmed and demanded that I let her up. I told her I would if she would just say please. She refused. In fact, this fun time became a battle of wills. Eventually, she decided to scream please loudly. I told her to say please nicely. She refused for quite a while. She struggled some more and after we both worked up a sweat, she decided to give up. She said please and I let her up. She had a much sweeter attitude. Essentially, it was a will-breaking time.

God had to break Jonah’s will. He had refused to obey God’s command to go to Ninevah. He didn’t like those people. He didn’t want to go.

God had convicted his heart to obey, but nope. Then, He sent a powerful storm, but that didn’t scare him. Finally, God allowed Jonah to become fish food. Jonah waited to die, but God didn’t let that happen. I wonder how much he fussed, fumed, kicked, yelled, screamed and demanded God let him go. Eventually, after three days and three nights wallowing in fish vomit, Jonah decided life would be better if he repented. How stubborn!

From my perspective it only made sense for my daughter to give up. Life would be so much better for both of us, especially her. I read Jonah and thought, how stupid! Life would be so much better just to obey God. Then I realize that I can be just as stubborn as Jonah. God must wonder how long it will take for me to repent at times. I will struggle, complain and talk back to God. He must smile and say, “You can’t out stubborn me!” and wait for me to say please.

“Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” Jonah 2:1-2.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

 

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