WHEN PRAYER MEETS PURPOSE
As you probably already know if you follow my blog, our home is currently being renovated and it’s in quite a disarray. Amidst all our joy and excitement about this dream coming to fruition, there are these small moments that happen throughout each day that press in slowly until suddenly, one day, I felt the significant pressure of our situation squeezing me on all sides. I would love to tell you that, as this enormous anxiety began to settle into my bones and my being, I retreated to my secret place with God but, I did the opposite. I immediately began to sprint from the problem—the very place where my God was standing, beaming, saying “Look! All of my promises to you are literally under construction!”—and I ran headlong into the predictably high-rate-of-failure plan where I avoid stillness with God and replace any Diving solace with a sort of busyness that disguises procrastination as productiveness.
And the anxiety grew. And when anxiety or depression is given free rein to grow rampantly in your mind like a weed, it tends to choke out the flowers of creativity and passion planted to flourish there.
But this weekend, as I came crawling back to the Throne on which my Savior sits, begging for Him to clear my head of all the bullshit distracting me from His glory, I began to see Jonah in a new way.
I always thought Jonah was bad and disobedient. His story certainly displays aspects of both characteristics. But I think I misunderstood. Jonah was a prophet, which means He was on such amazing terms with God that God used him to speak out His words across the world. Now, from my experience on this earth, gifting typically comes followed closely with passion, as we as people tend to be pumped about the things we rock at (I hope you recognize that this is the grace of God at work—to give us joy and passion in our purpose rather than just handing out mundane demands). What this hints to me is that Jonah is passionate about speaking out the heart of God to the world. I would go as far to assume that Jonah has been praying his entire life for a commission from the Father to traverse to far off lands and shout to the nations the words that Christ was whispering to Him.
All but one nation.
I have always assumed that Jonah simply thought Nineveh too bad to receive God, which may be part of the problem on some level, but there may be a deeper issue hidden there. Just maybe, Jonah wasn’t so much concerned with Nineveh’s wickedness, but hidden inside of his lifelong prayers for an opportunity to worship God was this small pang of hope that God would send him on an easy journey where Jonah would not meet with challenges along the way. And Nineveh? Nineveh was one damn enormous challenge.
I am Jonah. I want the result but not the anxiety. And, like Jonah, it is precisely the hard work and the road blocks and the anxiety and the dusty, dirty, overwhelming time between the start of the promise and the fruition of it that God wants to use to mature me as a person and as His daughter.
I think that Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because in Nineveh, there was a high risk of failure. Jonah ran from God amidst the promise because the promise wasn’t shaped the way that Jonah had always planned. But if we can retreat to God rather than from Him in these times of doubt and fear, than we will get to bear witness to prayers being answered, passions being realized, and promises being followed through on.
I don’t want to run away from the joy that is to come simply because I fear the journey. I want to run to the Father amidst the distress because where He calls us, He is already, just waiting for us to choose to join Him in His story.
GET THE LOOK!
Looking for the easy way to completely update your closet? Tobi has a killer range of adorable styles at such a good price, every season can have it's own new wardrobe! Special thanks to them for making this post happen!
All photography by Kylie Morgan