There’s an odd scene near the end of the book of Jonah. The prophet is irritated because God appears ready to forgive the people of Nineveh, who might well rank in the top ten of the most depraved people groups of all time. Jonah felt they deserved to be barbecued rather than saved, so he stomped off by himself, muttering the whole way, and plopped himself down to cradle and nurture his anger like a mother would her newborn baby.
Honestly, if I’d been God, I would have left him alone to sit there and stew. But God chose a different option. Jonah 4:6-7 says, “And the Lord arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.”
I feel a real kinship with Jonah because I’ve had the same experience.
There have been times when my heart was not in the right place. The reason may have been different from Jonah’s, but the end result was the same: me sulking…me being obnoxiously selfish…me acting nothing like the man of God I am supposed to be. But, just as he did with Jonah, God went right on blessing me anyway.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a lot of things and a lot of people. But most of all, I am thankful for a gracious God who, even when I’m having a really bad moment, doesn’t abandon me, but instead goes right on meeting my needs and more. Of all things, I think that’s what amazes and humbles me the most.
To all of you who take the time to read this blog, thank you. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.