Are You a Runaway?
August 7, 2008 • By Ed Wrather
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. - Jonah 1:1-3.
Have you ever run away from home? When I was five years old I left our home to visit my cousin. My mother was taking a nap and she thought that I was taking one too. My cousin lived two and a half miles south of us on a country road. I knew that I was supposed to be taking a nap, and I knew that I shouldn’t leave our farm property, but I left anyway. By the time I was two miles from home I was tired but still determined to make it to my cousin’s home. I was careful on my journey having been warned about strangers; and whenever a car would approach I would go off the roadway, and hide until they were gone.
Unknown to me, by this time my parents had all of our neighbors out looking for me. They had grown even more concerned when my two dogs returned home without me. A farmer who was plowing finally spotted me and called my parents. Just as I was crawling through a fence to go to my cousin’s home my parents found me. I never knew until later the anxiety I had caused them and their friends. That was the last little trip I went on by myself for several years!
Thinking about Jonah, he knew where God wanted him to go and went in the opposite direction. Sometimes we are at least a little like Jonah. We know what God wants us to do, but we don’t do it. We know what God doesn’t want us to do, and we do it. From Jonah’s experience we know that God is capable of getting our attention. It may not be with a big fish, but it will be something very personal to us that we understand.
Even now I would sometimes like to run away, but I understand the consequences better now. I understand much better the pain I cause my Heavenly Father when I take my little excursions outside of His will. I also understand His discipline, just as I understood the discipline of my parents.
How about you? Are you a runaway? Are you on the run from the will of your Father? You know that you are not where you ought to be, and you just keep on going, even though you are farther and farther from home. How is that going for you? Not very good is it? Why not do what Jonah finally did, turn around and head back home? The Father is waiting; His arms are outstretched longing to welcome you back. Take that first step back into His will for your life. Tell Him that you are sorry and that you want to come back. Start walking toward the Father instead of away from Him. Start living as you know He would want you to live. Soon, you will discover that wonderful peace that you can only find when you at home in the center of the Father’s will.