Escaping from God

“Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.”—Jonah 1:4 In yesterday’s devotion, Jonah tried to run away from God. He didn’t want to listen, obey, or have anything to do with God’s plan.

But God loved Jonah too much to let him run off in the wrong direction. While Jonah was sailing as far away as he could manage, a dangerous storm threatened his ship. Even the seasoned sailors were frightened, praying fervently to their gods while they struggled to save their ship.

Where was Jonah? Asleep.

Sometimes people try to escape God by going to sleep.

Jonah, the Jew, one of God’s chosen people, demonstrated less character than the so-called “pagan” sailors. Jonah even confessed that he was the problem, that he was running away from God and this storm was God’s way of getting his attention.

Still, he refused to pray. He just gave up and said, “Throw me into the sea.”

Jonah found it easier to die than to obey the Lord!

You may think that absurd, but don’t we sometimes live like Jonah? We believe the lie Satan feeds us that we might as well give up. We can’t or don’t want to accomplish what God has called us to do, so we run, we sleep, we escape, and then when circumstances feel threatening or impossible, we give in to self-destruction.

When the ship’s crew finally threw him overboard, God could have let Jonah drown and found someone else to do his job.   But God spared his life because He loved him too much to let him go.

The men and women God calls often wrestle with doubt, fear, and resistance. But the Lord never allows his children to sin successfully by disobeying Him. When the storms of life come—and they will— they are often God’s reminder that He will be with us, that we don’t need to run.

Through His strength, His Spirit, and His presence, we can surrender our pride, our fears, and prejudices, and allow Him to use us and bless us.

“To take all that we are and have and hand it over to God may not be easy; but it can be done, and when it is done, the world has in it one less candidate for misery.” —Paul E. Scherer