Today, I felt lost. I felt overwhelmed. Like things were happening that were out of my control. I was scared. I didn’t feel safe. I felt like I couldn’t make anyone happy. I felt like nothing I did was enough. I wasn’t working hard enough or studying enough or taking care of people enough. I wasn’t doing enough. I wasn’t enough. Today, I felt defeated. I wanted to cry and hide from the rest of the world. Then I remembered the lesson from Sunday school two weeks ago.
It was about Jonah and I’ve heard the story a million times, but as usual You grabbed hold of my heart and showed me something new. Jonah 3:1-2 says: Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah was scared and he had good reason. The Ninevites ravaged his village. So, naturally, he ran in the opposite direction, as far as he could. But, You still used him. You still picked him. You never left him. You used his mistake for Your glory. You used Jonah to speak to the people on the boat where he fled. You showed up in that storm. You were working on his heart even when he disobeyed You. You were working on his heart when he ran from You. Even when he hid from You on the boat. And even still when he was in the whale. You never stopped working on his heart.
He went to Nineveh, but he still wasn’t happy about it. He got so mad because You forgave the Ninevites that he said he wanted to die. In Jonah 4:2 he said: I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Then in verses 6-11 it says that Jonah went to basically pout. So, You provided a leafy plant for him to have shade and comfort him. Then You sent a worm to eat the plant and the blazing sun. Jonah again said he wanted to die. Jonah 4:10-11 says: But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
Woah now! Way to speak to my heart. I’m getting upset because of what these other people did to me, but You are the one that invested in them and cared for them. You are the one that created them. It’s You that should be the one hurt by their actions and by mine. We are sinners and we fall short, quite frequently. We are never going to be perfect and You love us still. Jonah failed You, the Ninevites failed You, the people that hurt me failed You and I failed You, but You love us anyway. You work on our hearts anyway. You keep preparing us and investing in us and blessing us anyway. You keep using us anyway.
So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for loving us anyway. Thank you for saving us. Thank you for investing in us. Thank you for working on our hearts. Thank you for using us. Thank you for preparing us. I can’t comprehend that kind of unconditional love. I don’t understand how you could send Your son to save me and expect nothing in return. That level of love just doesn’t make sense to me. I keep waiting to see the strings attached or for the cost I have to pay. You already paid the bill though. You saved me. I am completely and utterly in awe of you. I am moved by your grace and your forgiveness and your mercy. Even through my uncertainty you love me. Even through my sin you love me. Even through my weakness you love me. Through everything you love me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.