Easy Isn't Always best

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it”

Matthew 7:13–14

The path of least resistance isn’t necessarily the path you want to be on. Studying the book of Jonah I am reminded that Jonah could have thought the Lord was leading him to Tarshish because all the circumstances lined up. Think about it. A ship just happened to be there in port at that moment and it was going exactly where Jonah wanted to go. If that wasn’t enough, the guy captaining the ship was willing to take him on board, and wouldn’t you know, Jonah had the right amount of money needed to board. Everything was perfect, except one thing.

Like many of us when the pieces effortlessly fall into place of our hearts desire we naturally assume that God is blessing us. Jonah might have felt that way too but sadly, Jonah was very much outside the will of God, like 3000 miles off. The ends never justify the means with God. The only things that matter in the end are the voice of God, the call of God, and the command of God. Jonah knew the voice of God and he turned a deaf ear. Jonah heard the call of God and sought to go a different direction. Jonah understood the command of God but it went against his personal prejudice so he disobeyed it. Sound familiar?

Everything God does in this life is for His glory and our good. Studying the life of Jonah you get the picture that God loves the messenger every bit as much as He loves the message. God wasn’t just wanting Jonah to go and deliver a message to the the people of Nineveh, God was teaching Jonah that God could be trusted even when things don’t make sense to us. The storm Jonah found himself in went from bad to worse when he had them throw him overboard thinking that his sacrifice would somehow save the rest from harm.

You know the story and how it ends. Jonah ends up in the belly of a great fish. Do you think Jonah at the moment saw the circumstances of his life as being a positive experience? I doubt it seriously. Jonah was probably thinking God had abandoned Him or even worse, that God was judging Jonah’s failure and the belly of the fish was his punishment. In reality the belly of the fish was God’s blessing and protection. Safe from the storm in the belly of a great fish God delivered Jonah right up on the very shore of where God desired Jonah to be. Not the method Jonah had in mind but one that proved very clearly that nothing can stop the plans and the purposes of God. God is in control all the time, even when it appears He is no where to be found.

God is in the details loved one, your life circumstances are working to bring you to a desired end. Enjoy the journey today as the destination is secure. Don’t fight God’s plans, but rather embrace them. Don’t seek to control the situations you feel that you have been thrust into. Instead, seek the presence of God, look for the hand of God. And when you can’t trace God’s hand, trust His heart because like Jonah, God’s plans include you.  

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

James 1:2–3


Michael Osthimer





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