Friday, October 30, 2009

Jonah and the Whale.

The sermon last week Sunday was about Jonah and the whale. I always liked that story when I was little, so I made sure to pay attention this week after I heard Pastor Steve start talking about it. I don't really know why I liked it so much when I was younger, but it probably had something to do with the fact that he got swallowed, carried around, and finally puked back up by a giant fish. I mean, c'mon. What little kid doesn't want that to happen to them?

"Oh! Grandpa, you said you caught a fish that was 3 feet long and 50 pounds? Yeah. Well I got swallowed and puked up by a fish that was 30 feet long and 200 pounds. Beat that." Every little kid's fantasy.

And then this week while I was listening to the sermon about Jonah, I realized what a typical missionary he was. Or maybe what a stereotypical missionary he was. God said go. He said no. God said yes. He said make me. God did. Jonah wanted to die. (Ok, maybe the last one isn't so "typical missionary," but that's how the story goes.)

I think I like it even more now because it's real. And not just in the sense that it actually happened, but in the sense that it's easy for me to connect to. I don't know if Jonah was asking (or even begging) God to send him. To go for him. To be a missionary for him. (Judging by his reaction to his sending, I'm going to go with that he didn't want to be sent, just to work for God.) It made me think about how many times I pray for God for clear direction for something, or for him to send me. (Here I am God, still here. Waiting to go. I'm ready!) And then when He gives me something to do (ex. ask this person if they know Jesus) suddenly it's "What?! I can't ask them that! I can't make myself do it. I want to God, I really do, but I can't do it. My mouth isn't working anymore. They might think I'm weird. Nope, can't do it." Major. Wimp. Out.

And then right after that, I go back to praying again. "God, I'm still waiting! Where do you want me to go? Send me. Here am I." And there He is in Heaven, shaking His head and saying "Tori, my child, I just did send you." I never realize the little tasks until after the perfect chance has passed to bring it up. And then you go in the awkward situation of thinking, "I know I'm supposed to be sharing this... but it's so awkward now. But this is what God wants me to do, and I wimped out. I need to redeem myself. I got this." And then into the even more awkward situation of actually acting on it. Hopefully the looks I get aren't too funny. But if you don't make eye contact, you can't tell anyways. ;]

Anyways. Long story not-so-short, Jonah is relatable. I understand his wimpiness. (Although, can he really be considered wimpy since he willingly was thrown into the sea? I think not.) Reworded: I understand his chicken-out-edness. (And yes, that's a word.) Jonah is the perfect lesson to show that God doesn't pick the "perfect" person for the job. He picks the person He wants to MAKE perfect for the job. He knows how a person is going to react, and with Jonah, we get a good lesson on the type of person God is going to use. It's not who you think it will be. Jonah is a lesson. And I'm still going to say "God, here am I - send me." Just with a little more confidence added. :]

Plus - I wouldn't be totally opposed to being eaten by a giant fish either.


Mari said...

Tori - this is so good! You could be writing a devotion book!
Yes - I get it too. I do the same thing.
PS - I loved the message on Jonah too.

Diane said...

I agree with Mari... you could write a devotional!! This was an awesome post and really gives a great different perspective on it! thanks!!