Jonah 4:4-7 ESV
And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?” Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.
We all know the story of Jonah. Even talking vegetables know the story! Sometimes we want to stop before we get to that last chapter. I love that God doesn’t want us to forget anything in His word.
What I really love about this passage of scripture, is the realness. I can totally relate! This past week, I was excited to be part of a ministry that works with refugee children at an apartment complex in Dallas. I had such an amazing time, and my girls got to be involved with me. But I’m not saying any of this to brag or make myself look good, because what God allowed later, revealed some ugly stuff in my heart. It was much like Jonah.
After leaving the apartment, I noticed that the tire pressure light had come on. This is somewhat of a new feature that lets you know when your tires are getting low. As I was traveling down hwy 75, I figured I would deal with it when I got home. And wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t get home before I was forced to deal with it. After running what I thought would be a quick errand, the tire was completely flat!
There I was in the parking lot, 4 packages of bottles of water sitting on top of the spare. So, I proceeded to unload the the back so I could get to the spare, and simultaneously texted Stacy to let him know if my demise. Wouldn’t you know that as soon as I had the car unloaded I receive the news that the jack is not in the car! Now my countenance has fallen. Cursings and bad attitudes ensued. I’m sure God was saying, “Do you do well to be angry?” But I wasn’t listening. I was too busy wallowing and justifying.
And just as soon as things were bad, they were good again. I was never so thankful for roadside assistance! I confessed to my children that I didn’t have a happy heart, and I should change my attitude and be thankful in all things. You would think I had learned. But now I must find a tire place to repair the tire. With my handy phone, I quickly looked up the nearest location and headed that way. And did not find it! So I went to the next location, and what wonderfully sweet and helpful people they were, till I found out that not only could my tire not be repaired but because I have an all wheel drive I will now have to replace all 4 tires! And out the door went my happy heart! Again, I’m sure the Lord was saying, “Do you do well to be angry?” But I wasn’t listening. I was too busy not respecting my husband, and giving him an earful! By this time we had missed lunch and I was now shelling out more money than I care to remember.
But as I sat and waited, I finally listened. “Do you do well to be angry?”
There’s Jonah, sitting and waiting for what he thinks God should do. Getting angry because of the sin in his own heart. And God shades him for awhile, relieves him from his discomfort, but Jonah refuses to change. To force him to deal with his hard, unhappy, and ungrateful heart, God appoints a worm (or in my case a flat tire) to kill the plant and then Jonah is exposed to the sun and hot winds. God asks him again if being angry is doing him any good. I felt that this past week. Thank God for His unfailing love. I confessed and repented, and I am so thankful He hears and forgives.
1Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
And even Job responds with, “Naked I came from my mothers womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” when he learns that he has lost everything.
Lord help me to remember that all that I have is from you, and that it doesn’t do me any good to be angry. Every good and perfect gift is from You. Even if it doesn’t look “good” to me, you have purposed it for my good and for Your glory.
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