But Jonah ran away from the LORD (Jonah 1:3). He had his own reasons to run away. But it was disobedience.
Again, he forgot he was running away from God. The Psalmist David found out the utter foolishness and impossibility of fleeing from God (Psalm 139:7–12). If his testimony does not convince you, give it a try!
Even when you are running away, you might find circumstances to be very favourable. Jonah was heading in a different direction than God asked him to.
And as he reached Joppa, he found a ship ready to sail towards Tarshish to where he was heading to. “Wow, Praise the Lord!” a modern believer might say in such a situation. Do you?
The Bible clearly declares that Jonah’s purpose in boarding the ship was “to flee from the LORD” (Jonah 1:3). Your carrier can be anything—a motorbike, a car, train or plane. Its route map will be known already. But if you are fleeing from God, he might cause you to change directions forcefully.
In spite of the good start, Jonah soon faced a storm. He put the entire crew and passengers in the ship in danger of life because of his disobedience.
Let me ask you a very personal question. Do you love your family and friends and co-workers? Very much yes; isn’t it? If you are living in disobedience and running away from God, know that all who travel with you are in real danger.
Not always will they know who is causing it. Now decide. Do you need a storm to straighten out things in your life?
And let me ask you, why is God allowing a storm in your life? Is it to destroy you? Absolutely not. Instead it is to bring you back on track and in tune to his will and purpose.
He will use the most unlikely things like a great fish as in the case of Jonah to do so. He wants you to stay true to the original purpose for which he called you to.
Insight from History
Space shuttle Columbia disaster is not forgotten even after many years. According to the report, the accident was caused by a small breach on its left wing that eventually led to the failure of Shuttle’s heat insulation—a small breach that could have been avoided.
Impact of small mistakes are sometimes devastating. Later we end up paying for the errors that we often ignore as minor. It is overwhelmingly true with our lives.