Tyler has been HOOKED on the Smithsonian Channel (and magazine) after finding a copy in our cottage in Ireland this spring. I don’t watch much TV, but I do find myself completely engrossed in most of the shows they air. The other night as we ate dinner, archaeologists were digging under the ruins of Jonah’s shrine (in modern day Iraq) and made discoveries that indicated the story of Jonah is indeed factual.
If you haven’t heard the biblical story of Jonah – here is a quick summary.
Jonah doesn’t follow God’s instructions and begins (literally) sailing the opposite direction of what God has encouraged him to do (me…every day). Jonah hides himself on board the ship, certain that God will never find him. A massive storm blows up and the people on the ship throw Jonah into the sea to stop it. A whale swallows him for three days and nights. While in the belly of the whale, Jonah repents and decides to do what God has asked of him. The whale spits him up on shore and he is finally able to complete the mission God set out for him.
I love the story of Jonah for many reasons.
To begin with, it was the first Bible story I can vividly remember being amazed by. My MeMa would read a picture book (shown) to me – sometimes two or three times in a row – detailing the story of this man and his repentance. That book is one of my most loved treasures I own and one I can’t wait to share with my son one day.
Secondly, there are so many lessons hidden within this somewhat “simple” Bible story.
We learn about God’s grace and mercy. (This sinner is forever thankful we believe in God of second-chances and new beginnings…)
It is a story about a man running from God, only to be shown that God will always show himself.
It is a story of God’s ultimate sovereignty, as he uses his divine powers to accomplish His plan – spreading his love and knowledge to the wicked people of Ninevah.
We learn that in the end, God is in control.
So, friend, can you relate to Jonah and his story? I know that I can.
I know God has called me in certain areas of my life and in an effort to avoid that calling, I’ve ran the other way. I have yet to be swallowed by a giant fish, but I have learned time and time again that our sovereign Lord will have His way in using me, a weak sinner, to accomplish His plans. You see, despite my human weakness, He is still able to use me because our God is forgiving and merciful and loving. So thank you, Smithsonian, for bringing a story from my youth to the surface for me to relive and remember as an adult.
Happy Wednesday, family!