Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil[a] has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”
Growing up, the sport I dreaded the most was track and field. Playing football it was a requirement of the skill position athletes to run track during the offseason to build stamina and speed for the season. Though I understood the need for it, I was not a fan. Running without any kind of ball to catch, kick or shoot seemed rather meaningless for me. The practices were the most grueling. As a sprinter who was trying out for the 200, my group would have to run 8-10 400 meter sprints a practice. We would run 3-4 consecutively before getting water. After a few practices I just couldn’t take it anymore. My thought was they were running us to exhaustion. I decided to cut my losses and quit the track team.
In Jonah 1 we see an example of how running to exhaustion. In this context however Jonah was not physically running, but rather he was running away from the call of the Lord. Jonah was called by God to go to the pagan city Nineveh and proclaim the word there, however he decided to disobey the Lord and go his own way. We see him on the run and we find him asleep in a boat.
Have you ever wondered how Jonah in the midst of a raging storm that was threatening to destroy the ship he was on was able to take a nap? We see it was because he was utterly exhausted. See friend, running from the Lord and His call in your life is exhausting. Perhaps you can relate. It has been awhile since you have been able to get a good night’s rest not just because of the kids, but because you are walking in disobedience. Perhaps you are exhausted because for a while you have been running from the Lord and His call on your life to serve, give, or invite. You find yourself like Jonah running to exhaustion.
If that is you today, can I encourage you that though running from God is exhausting, running TO Him actually brings forth true rest. Those of you who are tired because you have been walking in disobedience, choose to turn around and run to the Lord who can provide rest for you. The good news today is that when you choose to run to the Lord, His loving arms of mercy are open wide to receive you! Hallelujah! Jesus Himself says in Matthew 11:28– Come to Me all who are weary and I will give you rest. Run to Him!
Hey Friend, what are you running from today? What is the Lord calling you to do/give up/ lay down that you are choosing to run away from? Listen- choose to run to Him. In Him there is rest! As the old song goes:
Trust and Obey
For there is no other way,
To be happy in Jesus,
But to Trust and Obey
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Heavenly Father Lord, thank you for your love for me. Help me to choose to walk in obedience today knowing that your way is the best way. Help me to understand that running to You is where I find rest. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.