Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship. . . .[Then] he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Jonah 1:3
Jonah knew what he was supposed to do. He was commissioned to go east to Nineveh, but he went to the sailing company and bought a ticket to go far away to the west. Maybe he was afraid or confused or simply unwilling to accept God’s command. Perhaps he thought he knew better. God gave him freedom to disobey, to choose his own path, but God also responded with a storm and later by allowing Jonah an unpleasant stay in the stomach of a whale. Later Jonah argued his case with God, but eventually he went to Nineveh as originally proposed.
Like Jonah, we may resist God’s leading, reasoning that something else is more appealing or more likely to be successful. Deep down we may be willful, angry, or just plain scared. God gives us freedom to choose our own path, but God will meet us on whatever path we take and will lead us further on the good route he has for us. As our Savior and deliverer, God responds to our decisions with more promptings to follow the purpose he has set for us and calls us to grow in faith and trust.
God guides us and gives us freedom to choose our way.
Dear God, we confess that we often ignore or reject your guidance. Forgive us and help us to trust that the things you desire for us are good. Amen.