Fish Slappers

by Michelle Welch

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He doesn’t want anyone destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

As you well know, I am a Veggie Tale addict. I don’t know that I should be proud of that fact but it is a reality that I must face daily when looking in the mirror. I suppose there is help for my problem but right now I shall shoulder the burden alone. That being said, I must tell you about something I learned while watching for the gazillionth time the story of Jonah as told by Bob and Larry. (I take my advice from a tomato and a cucumber so now you know why my life is full of chaos)

I am sure that you all know the story of Jonah. You know the one. God gives prophet a directive. Prophet doesn’t like what God has planned. Prophet does whatever he wants to do and tries to pretend that God doesn’t notice. God sends a storm to warn him. Prophet ignores the storm. God sends a whale to eat the prophet. Prophet finally takes notice that God means business and asks for forgiveness and a second chance. God gives prophet a second chance causing whale to barf said prophet up back at the starting point so that prophet must make the original journey that God had in mind. Prophet goes to do what God told him but gets mad because God has His own plan for the end of the story.

So as I listened to Jonah the asparagus prophet (work with me here) wailing on about how it’s not fair that God didn’t bring fire and brimstone down on the fish slappers even after he (Jonas the asparagus) was saved from the slap of no return (you’ll just have to watch the video), God whispered “See? That’s you.” I was outraged. What? Me? I would never wish that anyone would get the slap of no return! Well ok. Maybe her. Or him. Or them. But only because they deserve it Lord! I mean really. Can’t you see how right I am and how wrong they are?

As I watched Jonah’s best friends, a caterpillar and a camel…well he’s only half caterpillar but that’s another story….walk away from him, leaving him alone in his anger, I thought of how easy it is to get to where Jonah was at that moment. It’s not fair! Look what they did! Why do they get to walk away without being punished? Not that I wished bad things to happen to anyone but why did I get punished when they didn’t?

Are you alone in your anger today? Have your friends given up on trying to walk with you? Are you mad because no one sees things the way you think they should be seen? Stop for a moment and see things from God’s perspective. What if He had given up on you? What if you had received the slap of no return? What if God lost His patience with you? I will wait as you stammer and sputter like I did. Done now? Good! Now let’s get back on the right path together! The path that God wanted us on in the first place.

Our Awesome Wonderful All Knowing Father in Heaven has a plan. A plan that we can’t even begin to comprehend. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ” In Proverbs 3:5 we are admonished “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Dearest Father God, we come before you once again as disobedient children. We ask prayerfully for Your patience with us. Teach us that Your mercy is for ALL people, not just for us. Remind us how Your Son died so that ALL might be saved, if they just ask for forgiveness. You are no respecter of persons or status and for that we are most humbly grateful. We pray that You might be patient while we help to save even one more person. In the name of Jesus Christ, who died that we might live again, Amen

Copyright © 2012, Michelle Welch, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from NIV.

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