Friday, 10 October 2008

Lessons From Jonah.. Along my way

Yesterday, on my way to a business meeting, sitting on the train, I pulled out my bible and for some reason proceeded to read the book of Jonah.

A few verses in and I started laughing not so much at Jonah's silliness and his attempt to run and hide from God, but for the fact that I know I have done the exact same thing! God says, "Remi go left" and then I go right... ! Jonah 1:1 - 3

Reading further, my emotions switched from laughter to sadness as I learnt of the effects of disobedience to our environment, to people around us. Jonah 1: 4 - 7. Jonah's disobedience caused a ferocious storm to descend on the boat he was in, putting the crew on board in great danger. For a few minutes I pondered and thought how my disobedience in the past, has put lives, both near and far in great danger... Lord forgive me for being disobedient I whispered.

I read further, and my countenance was wrapped in amazement with the knowledge that, even in our disobedience, God still works everything together for good and for His glory. Jonah 1:14- 17. The sailors were in awe of God's power. After throwing Jonah off the boat, the stormed called immediately. This made them turn to God in worship and they devoted their lives to serving him. Jonah 1:15- 16 it reads "15 Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! 16 The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him."

I kept on reading and was presented with the nature of God's mercy. In the midst of Jonah's disobedience, God was merciful enough to spare his life and he arranged for fish to swallow Jonah and keep him safe from harm and from death!

I read further, and learnt, that sometimes we have to be so lost, for us to be found. In the midst of his darkness, when he had lost all hope, Jonah turned back onto God. Jonah 2: 1-8

I thought about all the times when I felt lost and alone, yet this same feeling spurned me on to turn to God, my only hope.

I kept on reading and learnt about a God of second chances. About a God whose mercies are new every single morning.

After the fish threw up Jonah, God spoke to him again and gave him the same instructions he gave him first time. In doing so, God gave Jonah a second chance to make right, a second stab at mastering the act and skill of obedience. Now isn't that awesome? Jonah 3: 1 - 2 reads "1 Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you."

Jonah took that instruction and ran with it. Jonah 3: 3 reads "This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all"

Now I thought, how many times has God given me, a second, third, fourth, even 100th chances?I should learn to take up this chances and run with it, like Jonah.

I also learnt the seriousness, and ramifications of being obedience. In this case, Jonah's obedience spared the people of Nineveh from God's wrath. His obedience, made them turn from their evil ways and seek God's mercy. Their actions, which was as a result of Jonah's obedience, softened the heart of God and hence averted his anger.

Now, I am sitting on the train and wondering how many lives I might saved or how many dangers I might have averted for simply being obedient... wow!!! Thank you father!

And finally, as I came to the end of the book of Jonah, I was grinning from ear to ear for I was presented with a glimpse of the many natures of our God; a patient and gentle disciplinarian, the comforter, the loving and merciful father.

He was ever so patient with Jonah, even through his disobedience and anger. He was a gentle disciplinarian, after all he could have taken Jonah's life through the fish and being smitten by the sun, but he didn't, he kept Jonah so he could teach him some lessons of love and forgiveness; His love for us as his children and his forgiveness & mercy toward the people of Nineveh.

So, I sat there on the train, making my way to a business meeting and I whispered a prayer:

God help me to hear your voice
as you whisper deep within my ear
Open my understanding to your instructions
Enable my limbs to move in the direction of your will
Let your glory shine through my obedience for all the world to see

So how about you? What Lessons have you or can you learn from Jonah?

Have a great time perfecting the nature of obedience, whilst making God famous along the way.

Much Love
Remi Banjo
***Pictures by photobucket***


Jae said...

whenever I read the story of Jonah, I usually think 'silly, silly man! why didn't you just go the first time?
These days it's more like 'silly, silly Jae...' I feel you my sis, thanks for sharing!

Ade Adeyemi said...

beautifully written!

John said...

God's mercy is just...... unfathomable, how HE does it, only HE knows :-)Thank God for second chances, in my case more like many chances. I liked the part of the sailors getting saved, even in Jonah's disobedience, there was something for God to cool.
Have a great week ahead, keep writing

simeone said...

"we have to be so lost, for us to be found" - so true ma sis..
"Enable my limbs to move in the direction of your will" - this na big prayer point for guys who are totally surrendered..
thanks for this elucidation..

Rita said...

Every single line in this post was just directed to my i learn alot from each line...God bless you!

So true is..."sometimes we have to be so lost, for us to be found..."

And it is only in God we find the truth.

All the best, dear.


I re-learned last week that God answers prayers. Even the littlest ones and that we need to slow down to acknowledge that and appreciate it.

Take care!

Believer said...

Well said, so many times I have tried to run away from where I know God has sent me to, I have spoken when He said keep quiet, I have kept quiet when He said speak, i'm in an obedience 101 season. Thank God for His mercy, thank God for His grace, I am learning to recognise His voice and run with it because His voice comes with wisdom and He can never lead me wrong.
How are you doing? Remain blessed...maybe I will catch you on a train one of these days...

Lady A said...

Ahhh, the story of Jonah. We have all had a 'Jonah' moment in our lives, and if you never had one, well....keep breathing.