Journal Entry // December 8, 2021
But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.”Jonah 4:9 ESV
Jonah is a tough read for me. I really enjoy the honesty of Jonah’s life and how we get a real glimpse of life at a prophet. There’s no doubt Jonah loved God and there is no doubt that God loves Jonah and used him in amazing ways, but I see far too much of myself in how Jonah respond to adversity and God’s plan. Even after Jonah repents inside the fish and is vomited onto the shore heading to Nineveh and sees a whole city repent in response to his message of destruction, Jonah is not only unhappy but angry. Not just angry, but irrationally angry.
I feel this sometimes. I felt this recently. This conversation between God and Jonah feels uncomfortable familiar to me. God questioning Jonah about the plant that was provided for his comfort and then removed hits far too close to home. I have had similar conversations with God about essential the same things. My anger rising because I’m a selfish ignorant child. My self-centeredness leading me to irrationality. Claiming that I am so angry, I would rather die than suffer this hardship designed for me.
But it’s not about the plant being taken away. My anger rises because God does not view my life in the same manner as I do. Or to be more precise, I don’t view my life in the same manner as God. My view is clouded by sin and my own self-righteousness. I want to be in control because I think I know best. I.. I… I…
But see how patient God is with Jonah. It is amazing how gentle and patient and kind God is with Jonah throughout the four chapters. And so he is with me. I kick and scream and have a temperament like a child. Yet God continues to be steadfast with me. He continues to work in my heart. He gives and he takes away. Not to be mean or vindictive, but to reveal to myself the darkness that lingers in my own heart. That darkness that threatens to engulf me completely if I don’t stop nurturing it.
So he woos me with his love. His perfect steadfast love. My loving Father waiting to embrace me and hold me secure in himself. He is my refuge. My deliverer. My salvation.