Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Surrendering to the God of Jonah


These past two weeks have been crazy amazing. I started this 12-week journey expecting the Lord to speak to me, but I had no idea what He'd say. I did know He wanted me to set this time aside to listen and right away I felt His presence. I began to be enlightened on some things in my life; those things would've been enough for me to call this journey a "success" but the Lord had more to say.

A couple weeks into the journey, I was with some friends and we were creating Jesse Tree ornaments, and the ornament we were working on pertained to Jonah. For some reason this story stood out to me and shortly after I happened to try and find one of Levi's sermons on podcast (Jen's husband). I couldn't find the one I wanted, but instead ended up listening to one that happened to be about Jonah! I listened not only to that sermon on Jonah, but the rest of the series as well. I felt a stirring inside. Many things stood out to me, but mostly the part where Levi pointed out that the Lord provided a whale to swallow Jonah to save him from drowning and to show Jonah that He was loved. The word "provided" was the key word. I started to believe that the Lord just might have some kind of message for me in the book of Jonah, in particular in the fourth chapter. I told some friends about these crazy occurrences and they just kept coming.

The show Catina asked to watch this week. For real!
On vacation, the book I was reading mentioned Jonah and then my friend, Jane, told me that she had heard through our friend, Heather, that a local church had done a series'll never guess what--Jonah. I listened to those sermons and began to imagine what I thought the message for me could be. Two Mondays ago I posted where I was at in my journey and I asked you and others to pray that I would begin to understand why the book of Jonah was significant to me. In my head I was thinking maybe the Lord was calling me to be some great prophet and the people I spoke to would miraculously be changed by the words that proceeded from my mouth. All coming from the Lord, of course.

I sent the prayer requests mentioned in a post two weeks ago to Jane and she wondered if maybe the two requests were somehow related. I was very confused and thought how could my eating issues be related to Jonah? Was I to be a great prophet and tell people to eat right? HA! When I asked her why she thought the two were related she said that when her and Heather were talking, Heather mentioned that sermon the pastor gave a definition of an idol (putting anything above the Lord). Jane wondered if somehow the idol mentioned in the Jonah sermon could be related to food in my life. For the life of me I could not recall hearing anything about this in the sermon but took note and decided I really needed to listen to that sermon again.

A few days later our friend, Liz, called and told me that the sermon at her church that Sunday was about what? JONAH! SERIOUSLY?! NOOOOOOO WAAAAAY! Liz said that the pastor talked about the fourth chapter. In this chapter the Lord "provided" a plant to shade Jonah from the extreme heat. Jonah loved that plant and became a little fond of it so the Lord provided a worm to kill the plant. This plant was Jonah's "precious" and the Lord loved Jonah so much that he killed it so that Jonah would experience His grace and love and not to look to things.Liz described that the plant was both the idol and the "precious." It was the thing that operates in your life as your functional savior and you may depend on it to make life "work." We often aren't even aware of what our functional savior is until is is taken away from us or stops working for you.


Ohhhhkay. So now Jane was mentioning idols and Liz was mentioning idols and maybe just maybe food can be an idol for me. I decided to go back and listen to that sermon Jane was talking about and halfway through he began to talk about idols. And not only did he talk about idols for a little bit, but the whole second half of the sermon was about idols. HOW DID I MISS THAT THE FIRST TIME? Maybe I wasn't ready to hear and maybe just maybe I was listening to it while cooking dinner and tending to three children. The verse he quoted was Jonah 2:8, "Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them."

Whoa! I've always had a hard time accepting the Love of Our Father. I can tell you and my next door neighbor that Jesus loves them but time and time again I learn this same lesson. Jesus Loves ME. The whole book of Jonah shows a loving God who pursues His people. He provides for them, sometimes in ways they'd rather not experience like whales and worms, but through this they are reconciled to Him and they experience His grace and His peace.

This is a lot to take in but I am excited to embark in his next step of how the Lord will provide for me to tear down the idol of food so that I can relish in His Love. That I may learn to surrender to this God that Jonah had a relationship with, and that I would accept His grace and mercy. Again, I ask for your prayers that I will take the steps needed.




This is really cool. I'm so glad you've recorded these details so in the future you can look back and really appreciate how His hand orchestrated all this! (Like when you're a famous prophet and all.)



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