I find the story of Jonah fascinating. . . and comical. God called Jonah to preach against Nineveh and its wickedness. Jonah refused and ran in the opposite direction. Then he went away on a boat, got caught in a storm, thrown overboard by his fellow passengers, swallowed by a great fish, and stuck for three days. Finally, the fish spat him out, and he landed right back where he started. Talk about learning things the hard way!
God once again commanded Jonah to preach in Nineveh. This time Jonah obeyed. He went and preached that their city would be overthrown. The people of Nineveh, from King to the lowliest member, repented and did penance in hope that God would have mercy on them.
Was Jonah happy about this? No! In fact, he was angry at God for being so merciful and reached his breaking point when he lost the gourd plant that helped with the heat. God tried to reason with Jonah but he just complained and wished for death. He was angry enough to die. (Jonah 4:8)
I can’t help but think, “Isn’t that a little melodramatic, Jonah?”
Now, I ask that with joking affection because I can relate to Jonah. When I was younger my mom used to call me a drama queen. Everything was such an ordeal, and I’d get so riled up . . . it’s something that I still struggle to control sometimes.
There are numerous occasions in my day when I have my own Nineveh moments. Such as when God is clearly asking something of me—and I am ready to ignore Him and run in the opposite direction. Or when I am expecting a certain outcome in a situation and the opposite happens, I am ready to have a fit. Sound familiar?
Fortunately, the God who spared the people of Nineveh is the same God who is “good and forgiving, most merciful” to all who call upon Him. (Psalm 86:5) God knows my weakness, and He gives me ample opportunity to repent and be strengthened through prayer and the Sacraments.
Are you having a Nineveh moment over what God is asking of you? Or is He asking you to repent of something? Or are you hesitant to share the Gospel with someone in your life? Ask for the grace to overcome your obstacle and be open to God’s grace.
Bobbi Rol is a wife, mama and blogger living on the Monterey Bay in CA with her husband, teen daughter, and three rambunctious boys. When she is not dodging light sabers or stepping on Legos, she can be found outside with her family, catching a late night movie, or decorating her planner. You can find out more about her here.