I have never heard God as plainly as Jonah did in Jonah 1:2, but if I did, the conversation would probably go like this:
God: Kat, before you were born, I made an amazing plan for you. I want you to _____(fill in the blank)____.
Kat: Yeah, I know You are sovereign and all that, but what You want me to do sounds hard and dangerous. Can’t I just stay here?
God: It will be hard, but it will also sanctify you. In the end, this plan is for your good. Now go!
Kat: Um…sure…I’ll get right on that…
Instead of completing whatever task God had asked me to do, I make my own plans and fulfill my own desires. A few months later, we would have this conversation.
Kat: Hey, God! I’m, uh, feeling a little stuck here. I can’t seem to get out of this mess. Can You throw Your daughter a line?
God: I watched you the whole time you were making that mess. Why didn’t you just do what I told you to?
Kat: I already told You! The task that you had for me was hard. Swimming into deep water seemed much easier. But now I realize that I was wrong! I am drowning, but if you pull me out, I will go work on the job you planned for me.
God, in His grace and mercy would save me and give me a second chance to obey Him. Full of piety, I would do what He told me to do and see the results He planned.
Kat: So, uh, God? It’s Kat here. Did you happen to see what Marci did last week? You really should punish her for that.
God: Yes, I saw her mistake. She slipped, stumbled, and fell. But the next day, she cried out for forgiveness, and I pulled her to her feet, just like I pulled you from the pit.
Kat: Ugh! Don’t You see, God? THIS is why I didn’t want to obey You at first. I knew that You are gracious and merciful. I knew that if I let You use me, You would expect me to be gracious and merciful too.
God: What good is your self-pity doing? Should I not care for Marci who has a soul with an eternal destiny?
You see, my conversation with God would be very similar to Jonah’s conversation with God. Like Jonah, I think that my own plan is better than God’s sovereign plan, and I want to be the judge of who deserves forgiveness.
Jonah’s story shows us that we will always fail when we go against God’s sovereign plan.
How will you respond when God calls you to do something hard?