August Reading: The Book of Jonah
August Memory Verse: Psalm 84:1-2
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"But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry." Jonah 4:1
So, the book of Jonah ends with the people of Ninevah repenting, and God pouring out His compassion on the city.
Jonah is not happy about it though.
Jonah pouts. Jonah sulks. Jonah even said he would be better off dead. [Jonah 4:8] A little dramatic, eh?
Boy, Jonah had quite an attitude problem. I can't relate at all.
Just kidding. Oh, how I can relate.
Basically, Jonah was mad that God showed so much forgiveness and compassion on these sinful, wicked people. He found it unfair and unjust.
Yet, while Jonah was in the belly of the whale, and the Lord rescued him, he certainly had no complaints.
This story is striking familiarly close to home in my heart.
We love when God does what we want. When He grants our every desire and when we see justice around us served, we are happy happy happy.
However, as soon as our little apple carts get turned over and things seems unjust, we can pitch a fit that would make a two year old look angelic. [Or maybe I am just speaking of myself here]
When things don't go the way I plan, when life doesn't line up like I envisioned, I have a tendency to pout. And whine. And even wail. And maybe even slam a door or two. [i wish i was kidding]
Just like Jonah, my vision can be self-focused, self-centered, and self-motivated. As long as things are well in my little world, God and I are good.
As soon as things get bumpy, I can lose my good attitude and turn into a mopey Jonah.
In order to change my attitude, I have started to ask every day that His will be done in my life. No matter what. No matter what my flesh desires, or my heart longs for, let Your will be done, Lord.
It has helped my attitude tremendously. Let me rephrase, TREMENDOUSLY.
The truth is, His will is the only way that works. His will is the only way that will ever work. His will is the only way that will ever be right. Ever.
I will never forget my friend, Rebekah, telling me this one day: "No matter where God takes me, good or bad, if it's His will, it is the safest place to be."
This statement could not be more true.
My attitude, good or bad, shows the Lord whether I am a willing partner to His plan, or a complaining and reluctant accomplice.
Our memory verse here at home this week is this: "Do everything without complaining or arguing." Philippians 2:14-18
Gulp. This is harder than it sounds.
Even if the complaining is not verbalized, if it is in our hearts, it's still there.
Let's learn from Jonah, shall we? Let's have a good attitude. Let's be a willing partner to God's plan. Even when we don't always understand it.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9
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