Jonah 3:1-2 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time:“Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
Christmas will be here soon and the kids will be opening gifts that require power tools to get them out of their packaging. So I will grab my power screwdriver and skill saw and hope for the best. But that’s only the beginning of it. Once I get the 137 parts out of the package, I will have to assemble it. And in true guy fashion, I will throw the directions aside and try to make sense of how the parts fit together. I will push, shove, grunt, smash my finger, and somewhat successfully assemble the toy with 14 parts left over. “Something must be wrong”, I will think to myself. From the corner, the directions book in broken english will mock me saying: “You no fellow drection. I tell 23 step to assemble toy. Why no look at me?” So I resign myself to picking up the book and looking at pictures with numbers and letters and hoping the text somehow leads me to success. With a deep breath, I say: “let’s try this again.”
Let’s try this again. That’s really what God said to Jonah. He had already given Jonah the task and sent him on his way. But this prophet of God ran the other way, trying to do his own thing. He blew it completely. God could have picked another man to do the job or he could have let him drown. He could have left him inside that giant fish until he was digested and dead. But God didn’t do any of these things. No – He walked over to the corner, picked up the instructions and said, “let’s try this again.”
Today I am overwhelmed with the grace of my God. I have failed Him many times trying to do things my own way. I have smashed my finger, made a bunch of noise, and probably even tried sailing to Tarsus. But He picked me up and embraced me. He poured over me with His mercy and grace and stood me to my feet. He dusted off the dirt and filled my heart with peace and joy. And He gave me another crack at it. He didn’t let me drown, He gave me a second chance. Like Jonah, I intend to walk straight into the calling He has for me. I commit to follow His instructions, even though I won’t always understand everything He tells me. Sometimes I will feel like His instructions are written in another language. Even so, I will do my best to live my life HIS way and not mine. I am thankful for, “let’s try this again.” I am humbled by those words and in awe of a God who would speak them to me.