Facing the Future with Jonah

Renee Ann Smith —  November 2, 2015 — 15 Comments

Recently, I’ve been feeling empathy for the biblical character of Jonah.

(And not just because I fear large bodies of water, where all kinds of deadly creatures lurk beneath an unsuspecting swimmer’s dangling feet.)

God called Jonah to preach repentance to the Ninevites. The Ninevites were Assyrians, a ruthless people who posed a constant threat to Israel and all those Jonah loved.

In fact, the generations after Jonah had to deal with the cruelty of the Assyrians, who eventually destroyed one section of Israel and took the people captive.

Jonah understood what these people were capable of. He also knew God.

God intended to give the Assyrians a chance to repent. And once they did, Jonah knew God would welcome them with open arms.

Jonah wanted no part in reaching a group of people who were sure to cause trouble in the long run. 

He saw only heartbreak down the path where God was leading and desired to avoid it.

But in running from the pain he feared, he had to run from God as well.

When I contemplate Jonah’s predicament, I can’t help but remember Corrie Ten Boom—one of my heroes—a  Dutch woman who risked her life to hide Jews during the Holocaust.

At one point during those dangerous days, God allowed Corrie to see what was coming down the road for her.

She dreamed that she and her family were caught by the Nazis and driven away to captivity and death.

Corrie believed the dream was a vision of a certain future.

Surely the best way to avoid the torment and grief the Nazis were sure to inflict would be to bar the door and keep their hiding place to themselves.

But when Corrie shared her dream with her beloved sister Betsie, she held a different view. Betsie told Corrie . . .

“If God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them.

That’s why He sometimes shows us things, you know.

To tell us that this too is in His hands.”

Corrie Ten Boom

Though the Assyrian culture and mindset towards God’s people didn’t change much over the centuries, God never wrote them off. Why?

God told Jonah that there were 120,000 Ninevites “who cannot tell their right hand from their left.”

That means kids.

God allowed the risk to Jonah himself and to Israel’s future in order to save a generation of children. 

Because our big-hearted Heavenly Father does not wish any to perish. 

God aches over the sufferings of the Jonahs and the Corrie Ten Booms of the world. He does not take their suffering lightly. 

But somehow He works all things together for the good of those who love Him—both for those who suffer in His Name and for those He sends them to reach. 

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness
or danger or sword?

As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,

nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God

that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~Romans 8:35-39~

Follow this link to read more about Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom.

Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!

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Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

15 responses to Facing the Future with Jonah

  1. Great words to begin my day. I do not remember the part of Corrie Ten Boom’s story that shares she had a dream about the future. But I love her sister’s response. Knowing that God has everything under control, our last, present and future, should be enough for all of us. Good to see you today and to be your neighbor at #TestimonyTuesday

  2. Connecting with you today from Kelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup site! Such a profound statement when you said when we run from pain we are essentially running from God. I totally agree! It is in the moments (or seasons) of pain that we become closer to God’s heart. Blessings to you today!

  3. loved your thoughts on Jonah and especially your graphic today. Hugs for this one~

  4. Visiting from Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory Link-Up. Thank you for this hope-giving post. I love the quote you included from Betsy: it is such beautiful confirmation for me of God being present in my struggles right now, as He too brought me foresight, but in Scriptures. I too feel for Jonah and angrily told God today: is this what you want for me, as I contemplated the resistance and hurt I’ve been experiencing in stepping out in faith.

    We live 20 mins drive from the Hiding Place in Haarlem, The Netherlands. It is a story that had me weeping terribly as a teenager, but also spoke so powerfully into my heart.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and these hope-giving words. It felt like God speaking to me through you.

  5. This is so inspiring Renee! I also love Corrie Ten Boom… So much wisdom to learn from her family. Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

  6. Corrie Ten Boom is one of my heroes as well. Her selflessness is absolutely breathtaking. I really think I forget this far too often: “God aches over the sufferings of the Jonahs and the Corrie Ten Booms of the world. He does not take their suffering lightly.” I get caught up in the whys, but instead need to remember He aches too. Thank you for that reminder!

  7. You’re right! We are so like Jonah. We fear what’s ahead despite knowing God has called out there. We let fear overtake and we forget that God’s got our backs. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. Enjoyed your thoughts about Jonah and love the quote from Corrie Ten Boom’s sister, Betsie. There is so much that we can learn from the believers that have gone before us.

  9. Oh, there’s so much I love and relate to in the book of Jonah. Thanks for linking with #SmallWonder!

  10. HI
    I am following you from SusanBMead Link up. There are times I don’t want to do something – and I love your statement. But in running from the pain he feared, he had to run from God as well.
    Blessings,
    Janis

  11. Very encouraging! I love the story of Corrie and Betsie, as well. We have much to be thankful for!

  12. Good morning! Just a note to let you know we have FEATURED this encouraging post today on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Have a lovely week :)

  13. Beautiful post. Just tonight our grandbabies and I read the story of Jonah…such an important lesson for young and “old” about our need to obey God and the results of when we don’t. Thank you for sharing your insights and Betsie Ten Boom quote.

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