Jonah (Asparagus), sighs inside the big fish and waits to be eaten.
"I'm getting what I deserve!" He laments.
I love the story of Jonah.
Did you know that God knew Jonah harbored bitterness and judgement in his heart, and used him anyway? Jonah hated the Ninevites, and God sent him to deliver a message to them!
...How many times has God asked me to do something that revealed sin in me? Each time it required a heavy duty heart change that only God can do.
Even after disobedience, then reluctant obedience, then remaining bitter and judgmental (Jonah still savored the thought of God's wrath being poured out on them), God STILL had mercy on him! Jonah's attitude was basically, "There. I've done what you asked, okay?" and he continued in his hatred. How many times have I gone through the motions thinking that I've earned the title 'obedient servant'?
As Jonah sits on that hill waiting for God to destroy Ninevah, God gives Jonah a tree as if to say "you'll be here a while, dear. Have some shade". This act of mercy also unfolded to reveal sin in Jonah. (after the tree fell down, Jonah wept and moaned over the tree, but had no such lamenting for the people of Ninevah - actual living souls) Wow. How often do I value things more highly than people's souls?
I love the story of Jonah. It reminds me that God still loves me, has a good plan for me, and uses me despite judgment, bitterness, and reluctant obedience. What?!? I would cut me off so fast ... but not God.
Praise God, the God of second chances!