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Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Does It Take to Convince You?

God sometimes provided men (and women) with wake-up calls, strange happenings to get their attention or confirm God’s will.

Here are some that come to mind:
  • For Moses, it was a bush that burned and wasn’t consumed and a Voice that came out of the bush.
  • For Miriam, it was leprosy.
  • For Gideon, it was a fleece that was wet . . . and then dry.
  • For Hezekiah, it was a clock turned back.
  • For Jonah, it was three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish—with seaweed wrapped around his head.
  • For Zacchaeus, it was a personal visit from the Lord to his house.
  • For Nathanael, it was Jesus knowing where he was (under the fig tree).
  • For Peter, it was a rooster crowing.

I was reading about Jonah with the seaweed around his head. It is really a funny situation, when you think of it. He gets thrown overboard because he—and all the sailors on the boat—knows he was in direct disobedience to God’s call. He gets swallowed whole by a “great fish.” This, in itself, is out of the ordinary. He’s not chomped up; he’s alive and whole in this fish’s belly. He’s there for three days and three nights (prophetic of Jesus being dead for the same amount of time). And, while he’s there, he’s praying. You can just imagine his confession of his rebellion, his sin, his being sorry about being such a jerk and endangering the crew of the ship, etc. You can also imagine his promise to do better in the future, to actually go to Nineveh—if God will get him out of this lousy situation—and preach God’s grace to those nasty people. He is broken and finally willing.

An awful sound. And Jonah is out on dry land, so grateful to be out on dry land.

His feet start running in the direction of Nineveh.

I sometimes wonder what it takes to convince us to do right, to completely surrender to God, to follow His will. I’ve heard of people who ran and ran (like Jonah), and then the Lord got their attention through an accident or cancer or a death in the family.

What does it take for me? What does it take for you?

When we find our heads “wrapped with seaweed” do we decide to do right? I pray so.

Do you have any “seaweed experiences” you’d like to share?

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