Thursday, March 5, 2015

Runaway Fish Prophet, Part 10

If that blasted, scorching wind blew on his head for another second, he was going to put himself out of his misery. Another gust blew on his sun-burnt head, and it truly felt like someone was dragging knives across his skull.

"It is better for me to die than to live." He mumbled. Jonah knew that He could hear him.

"Do you do well, to be angry with the plant?"

He could hear the voice, too. As uncomfortable and hot as he was, Jonah knew he wasn't crazy. The voice was real, and it was God's voice.

Jonah spit, and watched as it sizzled on the dry ground.

That was it.

"Yes!" He struggled to his feet, and shook his fist at the sky. "Yes, I do well to be angry. Angry enough to die." His stupid plant died, and he was being burned alive. Why couldn't God have just let the plant live? After all that happened, why couldn't he have at least done that?

"You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. Why shouldn't I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?"

Based on Jonah 4:5-11

And we come to the infamous end of Jonah's short story. We don't find out if Jonah asks forgiveness, or realizes the errors of his ways. We don't have any closure regarding the death of Jonah's plant. It just ends on a question. (Just for the record, I like to believe he did. Who couldn't after a heart-wrenching reprimand like that?)

So here's what God showed me.

"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly." Proverbs 14:29

Sometimes, we are angry about the wrong stuff. Sometimes, our priorities are a seriously screwed up. Sometimes, we need a little reality check.

Jonah was angry about the sinful people of Nineveh being given unlimited grace and mercy. Then he was mad that a plant that sprung up behind him died. He was upset about the wrong things. Jonah cared more about the plant then he did about the people of Nineveh.

God cared more about His creation, His people, and the souls of the people of Nineveh. The people mattered most.

Guys, we need to focus on the stuff that matters. Compared to a city of lost souls, a dead plant doesn't matter that much. Instead of focusing on all the other junk, distractions, and the things we don't like about life, we should be focusing on God's children.

Are you focusing on a dead plant in your walk with God?

V. Joy Palmer

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