The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. Jonah 1:1-3 (NIV)
Uncomfortable And Unpleasant
You have heard me speaking to you? Yes, I have heard you speaking to me. You have heard me asking you to go somewhere uncomfortable? Yes, I have heard you asking me to go someplace uncomfortable. You have heard me asking you to do something that was unpleasant? Yes, I have heard you asking me to do something that was unpleasant. Are these requests of mine quite rare and very infrequent? Are you kidding me? Is that a joke? Are you serious? I am very serious. I am not kidding you. My question is not a joke. I have a very important reason to ask you this question. Why is that? I want you to be able to hear my voice. I want you to be able to recognize where I might call you to go. I want you to be able to know what I might ask you to do. The answer to your question is somehow central to me being able to know and do your will? Yes, it is. Well, there is only one obvious answer to your question. Let me hear your answer. You frequently ask me to go places that are uncomfortable to do things that are unpleasant. This is not a rare or very infrequent event. No, it is not. So, just because something is uncomfortable or unpleasant to you does not mean that I am not asking you to go and do it? No, it certainly does not. Perhaps the very opposite is often true. How so? If something feels uncomfortable or unpleasant to me that could be a signal that you are asking me to go and do it. Yes, it could be. Never evaluate my call on your life based on your being comfortable or uncomfortable with it. Don’t try to avoid my call by thinking that I would never ask you to do something so uncomfortable and unpleasant. I won’t. Are you sure? Yes, I am sure. That will be very good.
Why do you think I frequently ask you to do what seems to be uncomfortable and unpleasant? The problem isn’t with you, it is with me. How so? I like being comfortable. I don’t like leaving the familiar to go to the unknown. I don’t like doing what I have never done before. I especially don’t like doing anything that might be the least bit unpleasant. Like what? Doing anything for people that I might not like would be at the top of my list. So, you wouldn’t want to go somewhere unfamiliar to minister to someone you might not like? That’s right. How likely will it be that I will ever ask you to do such a thing? You are likely to ask me to do such a thing frequently. Yes, I am. Will you go to the unfamiliar to do the unpleasant for me? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I will say yes to however you want to use me. There is no one I am unwilling to serve on your behalf. There is no place that I am unwilling to go to serve you. Give me all the help and strength that I will need to say yes to you. Amen
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