Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Wednesday of the First Week in Lent
“Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish. When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.” (Jonah 3:9-10)
Oh how quickly I can see other people through the same lenses that Jonah saw the people of Nineveh. In God’s presence, Jonah received a word from God to go to the wicked city of Nineveh. Instead of heeding this word, Jonah fled from God’s presence. Jonah knew that God would have mercy on these people if they repented, for he knew that God is “gracious, merciful, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness” (Jonah 4:2).
Jonah resisted God’s call because he felt the people of Nineveh should be appropriately punished for their wickedness. I too, like Jonah, can easily see others and their behaviors through lenses of judgment. My tunnel vision can block out the light of God’s goodness and love that wants to shine on every persons situation. However, when I experience God’s presence and receive His passionate love for me, my only response is to love others from the overflow of my own heart. Without regularly experiencing God’s presence, I am prone to cast the same judgment that Jonah did.
This story also highlights God’s pursuit of us all. He did not give up on Jonah or on the people of Nineveh. He went to amazing extremes not only to draw Jonah back to His presence but also to reach the wicked city of Nineveh as well.
Our Father in heaven,
thank You that You are our daily bread.
Draw us to Yourself and satisfy us anew in Your presence. Amen.
Justin Sharp, MD
Avera Medical Group Neonatology, Sioux Falls
JONAH 3:1-10 • PSALM 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19 • LUKE 11:29-32