It was the summer after my junior year of high school. I was in south Texas on a mission trip with Mission Discovery. At this point I had been on multiple projects to Mexico to build houses and share about the hope that can be found in Jesus Christ. Just like our friend Jonah, I had spent most of the week trying to escape. I wasn’t thinking about God’s will. I wasn’t trying to make a difference. I was basically just a teenager who wanted an excuse to get away from my hometown. I just wanted to do something different for a week.
And then everything changed.
I made a choice that set me down a path that I’ve been on ever since. I remember praying a very simple prayer. I asked God to use me. I wanted my life to be aligned with His will for me. It sounded a little like this:
“God I don’t know what this will look like, but whatever I do, I want it to be for You.”
I am reminded of this prayer every time I get on a plane to go out to the next mission project. When things get hard and I feel discouraged, I remember the decision I made fifteen years ago.
I have had moments where I try to run from this path. I have had distractions and detours but I keep coming back because even when I give up God still reigns in my life.
The story of Jonah is my story. The God of the universe doesn’t need my help. He could have spared Nineveh without Jonah’s participation, but He chose to use a flawed person. Every step Jonah took was a step towards God’s plan. The beauty of it is even when Jonah was at his most rebellious God was still with him. Leading him back. Compassionately showing Jonah that there is a better way.
Just like Jonah I have a tendency to lose focus. I concentrate on my own problems. I hold on to my selfish desires and false assumptions. I try to control, and I get mad when I don’t get my way. Still, God is right there with me. Asking me what right I have to be angry. He redirects my path when I step away. He calls me to love my enemies. He pushes me to rise above myself and live in the shade of His will.
Think about the week you just had. Did it go exactly as you thought it would? Did you perfectly execute God’s plan this week? There is a good change you didn’t. you probably messed up at some point. It’s possible you feel like you failed on several occasions. The good new is: God is still here. He is offering you another chance. He still wants to use you.
- Do you related to Jonah? How?
- What has your path with God looked like this week?
- What do you want your path with God to look like in the future?
Day 8 of 8 from the 2015 Mission Discovery Devotional