Nineveh

Nineveh 2

This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: ‘Didn’t I say before I left home that You would do this, Lord? That’s why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord, I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.’ The Lord replied, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about this?’ “

Jonah 4:1-4

Jonah didn’t answer. Instead, he built a shelter so he could watch and see if maybe You would still destroy the city. Livid that what he predicted might not come to pass; sore that Your mercy might damage his reputation; determined to be proven right.

Jonah didn’t answer You. So You sent a plant, then a worm, then You asked him again:

“Is it right for you to be angry?”

And you pointed out how crooked Jonah had allowed his heart to become: angry over the death of a plant, but looking forward to the deaths of 120,000 people.

“Is it right for you to be angry?”

More of my time should be spent on this question, not on, “Is it right for them to treat me this way? Is it right for me to have to go through this?” Those questions only frustrate me further. You have allowed me to go through this. Rather, I should give my hurt and my anger to You, ask You to help me with this ruffled heart of mine, and teach me to trust You through it.

But I am Jonah.

You love them and they need You, I get it.

But I do not feel structurally sound enough to be around someone who constantly makes me feel inferior and humiliated.

It makes me want to run.

I am Jonah.

You  have said to go to Nineveh, to speak to Nineveh, and I am DONE with Nineveh before I even start. I do not like Nineveh. I do not care what happens to Nineveh. I haven’t booked a cruise to the opposite side of the sea yet, but I’m definitely in a sit-on-the-cliff-above-them-and-watch-them-burn mood.

And I would probably have it out with You if you let my shade plant die in the process.

Lord…soften my heart.

I am Jonah.

And Jonah was wrong.

Help me to love Nineveh instead of counting up all their offenses to feed my anger.

You are broken for Nineveh, and I just want them out of my life, out of my way. You are broken for Nineveh, and I am angry and offended at them. Your heart is to rescue Nineveh; mine is to avoid them at all costs.

And You must change my heart before You change theirs, because Your heart is also to use me.

 

Lord-

I am sorry I give so little mercy before I grow angry. I am so focused on myself, I see very little of what might drive the hurtful words that come from Nineveh. Hurt drives hurtful words, but I don’t see their hurt; I see mine.

I don’t see 120 hours of chances to care for them and point them to a God whose heart is set on their rescue, not their judgment. I see a massive amount of time I have to survive with them before I can be around someone I like.

Change my heart, Lord. It is seething.

So livid at whatever stands in the way of its own happiness, it does not even see that I have started to worship my own comfort and shut out the heart of the God who rescued me.

 

/So I shall call her Nineveh, and I won’t run away.

Though it takes all I have, Lord, I am here to stay./

 

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps…who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.

1 Peter 2:21, 23

 

 

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