It’s easy for me to get swallowed up in the people of scripture. Jonah is such an interesting person. Running from God he tells the crew on the way to Tarshish, “Throw me over.” Then Jonah praises God from the belly of a fish, “You have brought my life from the pit.” Finally Jonah shouts at God stewing in the heat of the sun. “It is right for me to be angry!” Jonah went from hating his life, to praising God, back to waving his fist at God.
When I ruminate on Jonah I get busy comparing myself to him. How am I running from God? What’s right, what’s wrong about me? But focusing entirely on Jonah (myself) darkens my understanding, tosses the whole point overboard. What I really need to see is who God is: The Lord sent to save one hundred and twenty thousand who couldn’t discern between their right hand and their left. God is rescuer of the severely depressed from the dark of their own heart—(3 times Jonah believed he was better off dead.) And finally, God never gives up on the ones who shake their fist at Him.
God leaves no room for self-pity. No space for excuse. Jesus offers everything to everyone from beginning to end. If I remain darkened in bitterness and anger—I have no one to blame but myself.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 21:3
“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist; return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22