Just as Jonah ran from the Lord, sometimes even those who believe run from God. Why? Sometimes God asks us to do things we would rather not do, even though He is only looking out for our best interest. Sometimes those things are difficult or uncomfortable. Jonah did not want to obey God. He ran in the opposite direction only to discover that he could not out run the Lord.
Many difficulties chased Jonah down, including the giant whale that swallowed him whole. It was only in the midst of terrible tragedy that Jonah cried out to the Lord for help. How often do we do the same thing? Ignore God only until a tragedy or dark storm? Then we cry out for help and listen to God. Why do we wait?
God is so merciful that when Jonah cried out for help, He did not hesitate. Jonah, in the depths of his despair, called to the Lord and the Lord gave him another chance to right his wrong.
But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. —Jonah 2:9 KJV
When we run from God, things often become more difficult. We hit more road blocks, suffer more problems and become more frustrated. God has every step of our life planned if we just follow His lead. Obeying God does not translate to a hard, unfulfilled life. We may have to make sacrifices as we strive to do the right thing and walk with the Lord, but it is through the right way that God rains down His blessings. It may seem as though we are suffering — there are things the physical body may crave or the earthly mind may want, but if we disobey God, it is the spiritual being that suffers when we listen to the ways of the world instead of God.
Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. —Psalms 35:27 KJV
Do we run from God out of fear of repercussion or failure or are we afraid God will not forgive us if we mess up? God is patient. If God tells us to do something and we do not do it, God gives us as many chances as we need to get it right and live our lives through Him.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. —2 Peter 3:9 KJV
Take God with you wherever you go. Let Him help you make coffee, be your co-pilot as you commute to work, look over your shoulder as you do your job, play alongside you as you coach your child’s soccer team and enjoy making dinner with you. God wants to be in every aspect of your life. Running from Him only brings problems, frustrations, difficulties and sometimes tragedy. God does not wish to punish you; He wants to bless you. You are, after all, His child.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. —John 10:10 KJV