The last two weeks our pastor has focused on the book of Jonah. Yes, the book where he gets swallowed by a whale. But I've come to realize there is so much more to gain from this book of the Bible.
Jonah was asked by God to go to Ninevah, a city full of terrible sin, and prophesy to them. Instead of obeying God and going to proclaim God's truth to these people, Jonah ran. He hopped on a boat and kept his fingers crossed that God would just forget about him and that he'd be able to run from his calling. Ha! That makes me laugh, because I've definitely had those moments of "maybe God won't know I'm doing this" or "hopefully God will let this one slide". It's not a very secure place to be. It inevitably comes with fear and anxiety. And in the end, God always finds us.
When our pastor posed the question "Have you been running from God?" I initially thought my answer was no. I have been spending time in the Word and in prayer. But when I stopped to think about it, the answer slowly turned to yes. Although I've been spending more dedicated, scheduled time with God, I am still stumbling in the same areas. I'm still having the same fights with my husband. I'm still letting perfectionism rule me. I have been running, and I've been running hard and fast.
But why? I know God loves me and wants the best for me and my family. Why would I run from that? It comes down to the fact that I let my pride take over. I don't want to admit my sin and my desperate need for a Savior. Remember, I'm a perfectionist, so admitting I'm wrong and that I need help doesn't really fall under my "likes" category.
I don't want to be seen as I really am and to have my heart be known. There's too much darkness in there. Too much grime. I'm ashamed, embarrassed. If God sees my sin and how ugly it is, He'll leave me. I've been running for fear of being known, unloved, and unaccepted. After all, who could love me just as I am? This fear also shows itself in my marriage. If my husband knew my heart as well as I did, he would surely leave me.
I feel silly writing those feeling down. It's Christianity 101. God loves us, he sent his Son to die for us, and he forgives our sing. He accepts us. I shouldn't be struggling with something so elementary, I've been a Christian for most of my life! But instead of being hard on myself for still struggling with this, I'm going to accept God's grace and once again, come to him with my fears, struggles and sins. I'm asking God to search my heart. To find every bit that needs refining and reveal it to me, so I can stop running from God and start running to him.