Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Flee To, Not From

“But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa,where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.” Jonah 1:3

Jonah, Jonah, Jonah what was he thinking! God tells him to go one place and he turns tail and runs the opposite direction. How preposterous is that! What a ninny. Whoever would have thought of such a thing that absurd? Well my dear, have you looked in the closest mirror lately. Not the one that shows your wild hair day but the one that shows your heart and the condition of your spirit.

Once examined through the mirror of our hearts its apparent we all have a little bit of Jonah in us. The other day on my birthday my dad recalled from memory the words of the doctor that glorious day. Coming out of the delivery room he told dad his baby was a girl and that she had his mark on her. High in the upper part of the ear lobe I had the same tiny hole he did as if we had them pierced with a needle but only in opposite ears. That wouldn’t be the only feature of dad’s I picked up but it was one that was very apparent.

Just as obvious is the trait of Jonah in all of us. God gives us instructions in His Bible to follow and we turn tail and run the other direction. He maps out plans for our lives and we hand Him the blueprints to our “plan B.” We run from our spouses, we run from our parents, we run from our employer and other responsibilities but yet we can’t seem to run far enough away from God no matter how hard we try.

As Jonah soon found as he spent a few days in the “Big Fish Motel” that came with its own swimming pool and spa we find out for ourselves the truth of the words found in Psalm 139:7-10, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me. And your right hand shall hold me.”

Knowing the truth of those words should give joy to our hearts instead of fear and frustration. Often what we do with them instead of embrace them and find comfort in them we get angry and wonder, “If God is here then why did this or that happen!” We need to realize that God’s presence doesn’t guarantee a smooth ride and the answers to all our wishes. He’s there to see us through to the end, to strength our faith, to mold and guide us to the destination resort of our choice Heaven or Hell. No where does it promise us we won’t have flat tires along the way, run out of gas, or have engine troubles just because He’s present with us.

Jeremiah echoed what was written in Psalm in his book Jeremiah 23:23,24 “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, ‘and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places. So I shall not see him?” says the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.”

When reading these verses in Jeremiah you almost expect the statement to go on to say, “Well can you?” The answer of course is, “no.” No, we can’t hide ourselves in a secret place good enough that God won’t see where we are at. We can shut out His presence in our hearts but He’s still there. We haven’t accomplished anything but to harden our hearts and call it our right to privacy.

I’ll never be able to fill the hole in my ear lobe to cover up that feature but everyone can fill in the hole of their hearts that causes them to turn and run in the opposite direction of God. Filling it in with trust and faith in the One in charge and that is God not us. We may stumble and stop along the way but it’s our choice to take ourselves from being Psalm 139:7-10 people in our hearts to Psalm 95:2 people. People who instead of flee from His presence go before the presence of God with thanksgiving shouting joyfully to Him with psalms of praise.

Oh what a blessing it is to be in the presence of God. We hold the key in our attitude, actions, and acceptance that opens the door for that to happen. We can either use it to unlock the door and open it wide with thanksgiving and praise or lock it only to ask “Where’s God?” Where He is, is awaiting our call. Don’t leave home without Him. Flee to Him not from Him you’ll never regret it.

Today the host with the most is Miriam so flee…..no, run over to her site at Miriam Pauline’s Monologue and join in on the fun.


MiPa said...

What a delightful, yet pointed, post. Bless you my friend for sharing. Yes, we should "flee to" his call.

Denise Hughes said...

Karen, I love how you included the verses from Psalm 139 - very apropos! Thank you for sharing today.

Tami Boesiger said...

Don't leave home without Him.

No kidding, Karen. Amen!

Debbie said...

What a great post you did with this quote Karen. You have a great way with words and examples. It really shows how silly we can be to try to run away from God.

Denise said...