Do you ever feel like Jonah?
If I really am honest with myself, I know what God is asking me to do.
But like Jonah I run the other way.
I hide myself, escape by hopping aboard the boat of distraction and otherness. As a busy mom (and grandma) I have plenty to keep me distracted from what God is calling me to do.
AND just like the story of Jonah, when I ignore the call of God, chaos ensues. The storm hastens and throws my ship, my family, into a tumult.
Are you feeling this way right now too?
You accepted or even willingly signed up for home education, yet there is this nagging tug to run and hide.
To continue with the Jonah analogy, the sailors asked Jonah to pray to His God to quiet the storm:
“The captain approached him and said, “What are you doing asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps this god will be mindful of us so that we will not perish.” -Jonah 1:6
They threw Jonah overboard as Jonah knew he was the cause of the storm. He immediately recognized the consequences of ignoring his responsibility and calling from God.
But the LORD sent a great fish to swallow Jonah, and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah prayed to the LORD, his God, from the belly of the fish:
He was swallowed by a whale. Then he prayed…
Out of my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me; – Jonah 2:2
Jonah prayed a prayer of thanksgiving.
Like Jonah I pray in thanksgiving as I homeschool my children. I may feel scared, alone, abandoned, and try to run away, but God shelters those who He loves and who He calls, and gives them NEW LIFE.
In this way I try to remember that I am a sinner, I have free will and I am not perfect.
Yet, God calls me.
And He hears my voice in my distress and answers me.
God gave you the children you have in the right time and at the right sibling order. He calls you to do the unthinkable, to manage your home and to be primary teacher to your children.
You know it is a call.
More than that, God is concerned intimately with me. Yes, little ol’ me. He is concerned enough with my care and my happiness. He, however, wants me to humble myself just like he asked the Ninevites.
…the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small,* put on sackcloth. – Jonah 3:5
The Jonah story ends with another lesson.
Remember how the King and all of Nineveh repent?
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out. -Jonah 3:10
BUT Jonah is NOT HAPPY!
Instead, he sits under a gourd plant expecting death and destruction to befall the Ninevites?
When nothing happens to the Ninevites Jonah actually grows angry with God for choosing mercy!
When will we ever learn? Ah, the Story of Jonah is indeed a cautionary tale for us, for certain!
Stay the course, know you will NOT do it perfectly, you will fail and fall, undoubtedly.
God hears your voice in your distress, loves you and your children infinitely more than you can imagine, and shows mercy when we least expect it!
I am praying with and for all of you as we plunge into this new year.