God loved Jonah, and Jonah loved God too, though not really as wholly she ought. God had been telling her something for nearly six months--yes, six--and Jonah was a little scared and a little lazy and a little unsure, and she ran in the opposite direction. She didn't listen, you see. She didn't really want to. And so she went along with her life. Every once in awhile this thing would come up, but Jonah really only thought of herself and what she wanted.
There was a something that this girl named Jonah liked best in all the world. It was her passion and her delight and she loved it more than anything. She really wanted it, really a lot, and she was pretty (overly) confident of getting it too. Then God stepped in and said no. Jonah was a little shocked and a little disappointed and a little unsure, and she couldn't believe that she hadn't gotten it. Then almost as suddenly, God smiled and said, "I love you, Jonah," and gave it to her after all. Jonah was extremely happy and a bit confused, but she knew deep down that God had given this to her because he wanted to give her a second chance. Jonah felt humble and grateful and knew she owed it to God to listen this time.
So she did.
It took a lot of courage. She had to overcome a lot of--well, what was it? Mostly she just didn't want to. At all. But she knew it was right and she did want to do what was right, even though it was awfully hard. So she listened, and she stepped, and she held her breath.
Every step, God confirmed her actions. She knew she had done what was right. God moved and spoke and worked, at least she believed he did, even though she didn't really understand how. It was still very, very difficult though. Jonah cried quite a bit and often walked around with a pit of fear in her stomach, because she was afraid of losing something, of things not going the way she wanted. She had handed it over to God, but at the same time she walked the thin line of wanting to take it back, to be in control herself.
And one day, the flesh won. Jonah whined that it was too difficult, even though God had given her these amazing confirmations of his presence and power. But instead of sitting back and resting and letting God work, she did take it back, and she slipped. She was selfish. She thought only of herself and what she wanted. She kept up this talk of following God, but she was a little angry at him for not letting her have her way.
But she knew there would be a breaking point, and there was, and God caught up with her. Guess what? He was still faithful. He still said, "I love you, Jonah," and after all she'd done, he still wanted what was best for her, though his smile was a little sadder this time. Jonah felt humbled and grateful, but now she also felt a lot of pain. She knew it was her own fault for not listening earlier, but that didn't stop her from being hurt and scared and very, very sad. But still, deep down amid all her failures, Jonah still wanted to do what was right. And you know, we always hear about second chances. But God wanted to give her a third one, too.
"if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself."
2 timothy 2:13
"we are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us;
we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."
And so she went along with her life. So she goes along. Some days she really trusts God a lot, and sometimes she wants to break down into tears again, over everything that was and everything that could be. Jonah is a little happy and a little sad and a little unsure, and she's trying harder to listen. It's still awfully hard, but God is still confirming and comforting and good despite it all.
That girl? The one who ran too many times before listening? Her real name is Jenn. It's me.
I am Jonah.