TITLE: Which Way Will You Choose? 11-8-13
By Cynthia G. Peoples
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Which Way Will You Choose?
By: Cynthia Peoples
(Based on the message found in the Holy Bible from the book of Jonah)
“Jonah, get up,” said the Master. “Get up and go to Nineveh.”
Jonah pulled the covers up over his head and scrunched down even further into the big, feather bed. “Leave me alone, Lord,” he muttered angrily, “I’d rather be dead than have to go to Nineveh and associate with all those stupid, crazy, sinners!”
“I said, get up NOW Jonah and go to Nineveh and tell them their city and their lives are going to be destroyed if they don’t change their ways.”
The voice grew louder and louder and Jonah got madder and madder.
“NO WAY!” he yelled, as he jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and packed an overnight bag. He rushed out the door and headed to the ship docks.
“Hey man,” Jonah said, “Where is this ship headed?”
“To Tarshish,” the sailor replied. “But you better come on if you’re going; we’re fixing to ship out now.”
Well, Jonah knew Tarshish was in the opposite direction of Nineveh and that suited him just fine. So he rushed aboard the big ship like he was running away from the fires of hell. He stood aboard and watched the anchor slowly rise as the big boat started moving slowly across the calm waters.
He looked up at the clear blue sky and grinned from ear to ear. “Yes,” he spoke out loud to himself, “I’m on my way to the good life now!”
Well all of a sudden the skies turned dark, thunder and lightning roared and the storm got closer and closer to the ship. The waters were filled with gray, murky, angry waves and splashed against the sides of the boat so harshly that Jonah and the rest of the passengers, along with the crew, feared for their very lives.
“Man,” the skipper said, “This storm is raging from the very hand of our God. He is terribly angry with someone, somewhere.” The deck mate overheard the skipper’s comment and the rumors began to fly amongst the crew.
“Who has caused our God to be so angry with us?” They exclaimed, “Whoever it is will pay for this dearly.” Jonah began to feel guilty more and more as the rumors continued to go on and on.
“Okay, Okay!” Jonah confessed, “It’s me! Just throw me overboard and let me die!” But instead of dying a martyr’s death, he was thrown right smack dab in the middle of a whale’s belly. He was being tossed to and fro within a huge slimy pit hole and there were all sorts of half-eaten creatures being tossed around about him and he could hear the big whale’s angry words vibrating in his head.
“What are you doing in here!” the big fish exclaimed, “I was after a big shark for my supper, not a human.” The whale started swimming even faster as Jonah was tossed hard against the sides of the big belly….and Jonah just wanted to die.
“Hey, wait a minute!” Jonah yelled, “This isn’t my fault. God put me here and now I’m just like you except I’m like a fish out of water and there’s nothing I can do about it.” The whale just spouted off and continued on his way.
For three days, Jonah wallowed around in the whale’s belly and indulged in a self-pity party. But finally he’d had enough.
“Okay, Lord!” he cried, “Okay, I don’t care about those stupid people and I’m sure not happy about it but just get me out of here and I’ll go to Nineveh.” And God told the whale to spit Jonah out and Jonah went to Nineveh.
How many times do we do this same thing! God tries to tell us something….but we don’t listen and we go our own way and do right the opposite of what God wants us to do or not to do. Then we end up in hot water, painful circumstances, misery and pay huge consequences……. then wonder why we’re struggling and gasping for air just like a fish out of water.
Well God doesn’t NEED US to accomplish His will, but He chooses to USE US in spite of ourselves just like He used Jonah and the big whale. We can yield to HIS WAY voluntarily or go on our own way and pay the consequences.
So, which way will YOU CHOOSE?
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