The story of Jonah came to life for me way back in 1998.
You know... the guy that got swallowed by the whale?
No... I wasn't being swallowed up by a whale. But I was being swallowed up by the problems of life.
God used His story of Jonah to get my attention. He brought His Word to life in my mind and spirit through Jonah and made me understand that if He could save Jonah from the inside of the belly of a fish... from that horrible pit of a prison from where there was no escape.... then He could do anything in my life.
Miracles became more than an imaginary image in my head. They were real and could happen for me. God did a miracle in my life during that time. He brought me out of the pit and set me on solid ground. His ground.
I've been in a pit or two since then, but never without knowing that He would bring me out.
Now... in 2013, a little over 14 years later, He points me to Jonah once again.
This time, these are some of the things I have learned:
1. Go where He says go even if it doesn't make sense to me.
2. Preach to whom He says preach even if they don't want to hear.
3. My opinion of the 'lost' does not matter. (Jonah didn't like those he was sent to warn)
4. Everyone needs Him. Every. One. So love every one because He loves.
5. God has pity and compassion on whom He will have pity and compassion on... even the most blatant and worst sinner. It is not up to me to decide.
6. I am no better and no more deserving of His mercy than anyone else.
7. Trust Him and do what He asks me to do.... even if I don't understand or agree with Him.
8. Agree anyway.... avoid the storm and the pit.
It's some pretty basic stuff.
Not complicated at all.