Have you ever had conversations when someone asked you to be present in the moment, or rely on God's faithfulness, or be strong? It is not always the greatest moment, or the most comfortable conversation. But, in it all there is grace.
Have you ever read the story of Jonah in the bible? Let me share the cliff notes: Jonah was given a mission. He heard God clearly, but he ran. He ran in the opposite direction because he was not ready to deliver God's message and see God's people be saved. He got on a boat. While asleep on the ship there was a great storm. Jonah confessed, as the storm escalated. It was clearly God’s way of getting his attention. Jonah urged the men on the boat to throw him overboard, and eventually they did. The waters were instantly calmed. But while Jonah was in the water, he was swallowed by a whale, where remained alive in the whale’s belly for 3 days and 3 nights. And, then, without a boarding pass, the whale spit Jonah out on the land that we were called to “run to” in the first place.
Now, you might think that I am going to elaborate on what lessons Jonah might have learned while he was in the belly of the whale. Or even possibly you might think that there is a good story to tell after the whale spit him up (alive) on the shores of the land that God asked him to travel to in the first place. Stay with me. I'm actually going to focus on the fact that Jonah knew what He was called to do (his purpose), yet kindly chose to run from it. Because, whether you would admit it or not, we all have a point in our lives when we knew what we were supposed to do, but took off running in the opposite direction. Sometimes we run because of the unknown, or like Jonah, we have our own agenda. For me, it went back to not allowing the world to tell me that it's normal to be comfortable in my sin. The world would have us belief that there is no hope. For me, it was a message that ran deep. But, praise God it's never too deep where God will not come after me. Finally, I got to a place where I resolved that though I never would have chosen to be a single parent, it was what had to be. I would tell my sons often, I resolved in my mind that I was called to be their mother,and they were called to be generation curse breakers, no matter how uncomfortable life got. God did not call us to be comfortable. Matter of fact, it's just the opposite. When we are uncomfortable we pursue Him. And, you know eventually, Jonah understand that too. God does not call us to do what we want to do, but we are called to surrender to a plan that is much bigger than us.
He proves time and time again that He will use the ordinary to the extraordinary. So, although we might run, or sometimes simply ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit, His Plan will come to pass. And, most often, when we are traveling in the opposite direction, the grace of God will allow our "whale" to swallow us up so that he can equip us, re-align us to His plan, and praise God in His fullest glory.
Are you running? Or, would you admit that you may not be where you want to be, but you are running to be in a better place than you used to be?
There is purpose is your pain.