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. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
I told someone about how I felt like I wasnt doing enough for God. So many things that needs to be done, but perhaps I dont do enough, dont intercede enough, and so on. After awhile, he shared this thing with me.
Jonah. He ran away from God when told to proclaim the Word to Nineveh. By force, he was returned back to Nineveh and God told him to go do it properly this time. So he went. Resentfully, hoping that the people of Nineveh wont heed the Word and hence bring destruction unto themselves. When the people of Nineveh repented, Jonah was angry, not happy.
In what ways did Jonah look like someone who was putting in effort to bring life to the people of Nineveh? He couldnt wait to see them destroyed.
Yet God could use Jonah to deliver a message that changed the hearts of the people of Nineveh, saving themselves from doom. Jonah, the reluctant prophet merely went about telling people the equivalent of 'you're all gonna die'. God used that, to touch the hearts of the people in Nineveh.
Who are we, but mere humans, that can fathom God's plans? Do we pretend that we are really that important in achieving anything? God works in partnership with Man, but does God actually truly need Man to do His will?
The partnership is a privilege for us, not something that God needs. God is all powerful, what He desires to see being done will be done, whether or not we intervene.
I admit, I often fight in this battlefield to see things happen. Perhaps its a long time since I've waited upon God's perfect timing, instead pressing in through sheer brute force. I really really want to see some of these things come to completion, but maybe its futile to try so hard.
I keep telling myself, I will fight until I see something happens. Yet perhaps I need to realise that something happening is not a measure of whether I have fought hard enough.
Who can contend with God?
So perhaps what I need is not to go crazy fighting harder. It is simply to recognise what needs to be done, do it, but dont go obsessive over it. What I can do is only limited. Sure, it doesnt mean I absolve myself of all responsibility, what I have been entrusted with, I am responsible for and I will carry it through. But I should not take the fact that things dont seem to be happening to mean that I am not doing enough and kill myself over more.
I know God is the one in control, and to Him I lift up all these.
For further reading, something I wanted to post about quite a long time back since it was shared in BS, but never got round to doing it.
Again, who can contend with God?