Monday, June 9, 2014

Jonah

“O Lord,

“I worshiped You. I followed the commandments. I struggled and sacrificed to be counted among Your favored people. I resisted temptation and idolatry. I suffered others’ fornications of the flesh and I begrudged their wantonness. Time and I again I consoled myself with Your word, Your law, Your wisdom, which resounds with the warning to man: The world is deceptive. It is fleeting. Those who put their stock in the world will perish like the dust. The world is unlike You, Lord, who are everlasting and the rock upon which I build.

“How did you reward my faith? By sending me to that snake pit, Nineveh. How could I witness against such a place as beyond redemption as Nineveh? How could I remain faithful to You where wickedness runs through the gutters and drips from the doors like rain? By showing the Ninevites mercy, You show none for me.

“I ran. Yes, I was angry and afraid. You asked too much of me. Then You sent the storm and the great fish. You saved me out of the sea to do Your will as You commanded me.

“So, I traveled to Nineveh. I proclaimed the inevitable destruction of that place. No other fate did it deserve, and no other place did deserve it more. I proclaimed Your wrath would come and render judgment, that the people’s sins would be repaid by the stars falling from the sky and the mountains covering the plain, vindicating those who remain strong in the faith.

“Cruel, inscrutable Lord, why did You spare them?! Why did You forgive their sins when all they have done is mock You? Even now they mock You with their shows of penitence. I cannot bear sharing the same fate as those adulterers and thieves who have converted in the 11th hour. I cannot bear the humiliation of proclaiming Your message only to be countermanded by Your caprice.

“You demand the impossible, and as recompense for doing Your will, You demand the more impossible yet! I burn with anger. It consumes me. I cannot breathe. Please, Lord, let me die!”

“You have no right to be angry, Jonah, My child. You presume to know My will, when My will is infinite. It is through your witness the Ninevites repented and worship Me. A jewel in My kingdom rises from the blight of sin that Nineveh once was.

“Are you Noah, blameless among the people? Are you not a sinner in the eyes of the Lord? You know well I extend My mercy to your brothers the Ninevites, as I extend My mercy to you.”

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