Monday, July 03, 2006



Previously, I had asked you to swallow your man-sized pride, your adult earthbound faith, for the teaching from Mrs. Schaeffer on Jonah. (I apologize for the lapse in time and I hope you haven’t choked!) My Bible study on contentment delved into Jonah this week and I am taking it as a kick from God to get moving! So children, here is a story about a prophet long ago but not so far away.
Once upon a time there was a wicked goy city and lo and behold, God knew their hearts. He called upon His prophet Jonah to preach their wicked ways to them, in God’s perfect timing. Jonah did not want to do this...personally, he didn’t give two hoots about those evildoers. Why should he? They’re not even Hebrew! And Jonah became a survivor. You know the feeling. "God, just help me get through this day." And so we run from God’s prompts, plod through another eight hours, eat dinner, watch TV, bed. "Phew. God didn’t snag me!" Only the words we tell ourselves go more like, "I’ll go see Aunt Bea next week." and "Just couldn’t get to the computer today." That second one is mine. I fear writing and putting me out there. What if I really mess up God’s teaching? What if my ugly human-ness, my imperfect love, shows? I have said before, I would love to have someone holding me accountable. (BTW, where are you, John? Then again, I could spend more time makin’ rounds to find out where my fellow bloggers are!) Is my not wanting to post evidence that I don’t care, like Jonah? Jonah confuses me. But that comes later. I think we live in scarey times. I don’t want to go to Nineveh and neither did Jonah. Was he scared? Maybe that was his initial resistence! After his brave confession on the escape ship from Joppa, during God’s attention-getting storm, Jonah is tossed into the deep. Oh yea, I’ve been there!
Jonah is rescued by a great whale! Rescued? Did she say rescued? Never have I been taught this! Jonah was being punished, right? Yes and yes. This prophet of Israel had to face consequences of dodging God’s will because God was going to save Nineveh, if He had to turn His prophet around Himself! God protected this gifted man from drowning with a perfectly placed safe haven. Along comes this whale, see? Edith Schaeffer claims that men have been known to actually survive being swallowed and spewed out by large sea creatures. A morsel for the naturalist out there but hold on, don’t burp up your prideful doubt just yet!
Not wanting to take credit here for this spark of brilliance, Mrs. Schaeffer compares time in the whale’s belly with being in affliction, a deep depression. Resisting God, life going haywire, hit bottom depression. Now we’re talking real life. How many ways can we find ourselves in a whale’s digestive system? Spiritually...emotionally? And like Jonah...physically? The vacuum of meaningless existence, sucking life from humanity.
The prayer this man uttered tells you why he was chosen for the mission of entering such a dark place as Nineveh. I’ll continue with chapter 2 after the Fourth or you could cheat and look!

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