In the midst of reading through Kings and Chronicles in the Hebrew Scriptures I was getting a little frustrated and disappointed in God and the people of Israel and Judah.
Every story seemed to include destruction... smiting people for disobedience, lots of pain, seemingly arbitrary hardship, overwhelming pride, all ending in judgment...
I was having a hard time reconciling the how the God I believe in, represented mainly through Jesus and the stories of redemption could be the same yesterday, today and forever; if these stories are true...
Does this every happen to you? You find something out about God or life that doesn't quite make sense? You don't know what to do with it? You aren't sure if you buy the whole package?
Well, it does to me.
So, I usually just start talking to God about it... "What the heck? How do you expect me to make sense of this?"... then with a subtle act of grace the next item on my reading plan is: Jonah.
You should read it yourself, but this cute video is another way to get the picture.
I'm sure there are many layers and points to this story... but, for me it was simple reminder from the Holy Spirit... "I am full of Grace and desire repentance."
I heard God saying...
"See, I AM, the same yesterday, today and forever. I have always wanted forgiveness, I have always provided ways for people to repent and am in the business of using people, like you, my child, to make things new. You see, its not so much about the destruction as it is about the recognition of who I am and the sweetness of grace that humans encounter when they turn to me. Don't count me off... I am the same, and so are people... all forget me or push me aside, but I am longing to embrace them (and go way out of my way to provide a way for this to happen)... even for the scary ones from Nineveh, even for the self centered prophets like Jonah, even for you and your friends."