Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just Call Me Jonah

It all started 2 weeks ago when Tanner had an orthodontist appointment at 3:40 p.m. in Fort Mill.  The problem - no students are allowed to be released from his school between 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. and the carpool line is slower than molasses.  Not to mention that Tanner's last class of the day is a core class that he does not need to miss.

With that being said, Tanner & I came up with a plan to make a quick get away from school at exactly 3:30 p.m.  But as I sat in my van waiting for Tanner, I watched at least 6 students be released early between 3:00 - 3:30 p.m.!!!  I was a little upset.  Then when the carpool line flubbed up our get away plan, I was a little more upset.  Of course, we caught every single red light on the way to the orthodontist and finally arrived 20 minutes late. 


Instead of apologizing to the ladies at the front desk for being late, I chose to share my frustration with them.  Not good.  One of them felt my pain and apologized to me!  But the other one wasn't amused - at all.  The phone rang so she was able to politely remove herself from the conversation.  I'm sure she was relieved.

I was just so aggravated!  Fortunately, they were able to still see Tanner.  He had separators (spacers) put in to make room for an appliance that was to be put in later to reposition his jaw.  While sitting in the waiting room, I knew I owed those ladies an apology, but I didn't do it.  I was too wound up, and my pride got in the way.

So, God allowed one of the spacers to fall out that night while Tanner was sleeping.  I called the orthodontist office the next morning & was given an 8:00 a.m. appointment in Rock Hill on Tuesday 11/1 to have the spacer put back in.  At that appointment, I talked myself out of apologizing again. 

Then, Tanner had an appointment on 11/2 in Rock Hill to have the appliance put in.  When we got there, the one lady I really needed to apologize to (the unamused lady) wasn't at the desk.  So, I decided to do my Bible study while I waited for Tanner.  Guess what Scripture my Bible just happened to open up to as I was looking for 2 Samuel??!!!

Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh.  Jonah 3:1-3

Why is this so significant you ask.  Well, notice in the first part of the verse that it says the word of the LORD came to Jonah a SECOND time.  God had already told Jonah to go to Nineveh once, but Jonah did not obey Him.  Instead, he ran from God and ended up being swallowed by a big fish for 3 days.  Once the fish spit Jonah out, Jonah's heart had changed but God's word for Jonah had NOT changed.  It was still the same - go to Nineveh. 

Good ole Jonah!

I knew God was telling me to apologize for a "SECOND" time (I was actually on my 3rd time at this point) and no matter what, He was NOT going to change His mind.  (How funny is God....I was in Rock Hill and Rock Hill is my Nineveh!)

Then, the "unamused" lady appeared.  She walked through the waiting room on her way out to lunch.  It was the perfect opportunity for me to be obedient and apologize.  We were the only 2 people in the waiting room.  I had God's Word on my lap as a reminder too.  But, I did NOT do it!!!  At the last second, I didn't do it.  


No excuses.  I just didn't do it.

But don't think God let me off the hook that easy.  When they went to put Tanner's appliance in, it did not fit.  They had to schedule another appointment for 11/10 to try again.  I just laughed.  I couldn't get upset about having to come to the orthodontist 4 times in 2 weeks because I knew it was God giving me yet another chance to apologize.  If I would have done it the first time, I feel certain none of this would have happened! 

I'll admit I'm a very slow learner!  And very "stiff-necked!"   But by the grace of God through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, I am a forgiven and redeemed child of God! I am so grateful that God is "a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love." (Jonah 4:2)

This morning, I was ready though.  I begged God to let the "unamused" lady be at the desk when we got there - and she was!  I walked right up and apologized (after saying a prayer outside before we walked in so I wouldn't lose my nerve again :)  The ladies at the desk graciously accepted my apology too.  A weight I had been carrying around UNNECESSARILY for 2 weeks was finally lifted off my shoulders - and off my heart.

As an added bonus, Tanner (unintentionally) heard the whole thing.  How humbling. 

I am so glad that God is a God of second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. chances!  Aren't you? 

Even when we find ourselves in a deep pit of sin and the shovel is in our own hands, God is there.  Waiting.  Waiting to pull us out.  Waiting to help us through our circumstances & consequences.  Waiting to forgive us.  Waiting to use us for His glory.

 I waited patiently for the LORD;
   He turned to me and heard my cry.
  He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD. 
Psalm 40:1-3

What an AMAZING GOD we serve! 

Oh yeah, after 4 orthodontist appointments in 2 weeks, Tanner still does not have his appliance!  As a matter of fact, he will not be getting it any time soon!  His orthodontist said there has been some changes in the growth & movement of his jaw, and the appliance is not the answer right now! 

Ha Ha Ha!  ONLY GOD! 

God loves me so much that He will do whatever it takes to teach me, mold me, and change me into the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ.  And for that, I am forever grateful.

God loves you that much too!  You can NEVER out sin God.  There is nothing in your past, present or future that the blood of Jesus Christ can't (and doesn't) cover.  NOTHING.  

All you have to do is accept His forgiveness & love and let Him transform your life.  His hand is reaching out to you.  He wants to pull you out of your pit.  Will you drop your shovel and take hold?  He's waiting.  For you.       

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,
Nancy Jonah

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