A Calling: Part 1
Are you ready for some good news?
From the beginning, God gave humanity a lofty calling to increase, to subdue and to rule. Though that calling has been marred, God came in Jesus Christ to restore the fullness of our true vocation.
There is no more vivid portrait of God’s commitment to restore our true vocation than the story of Jonah. God wanted His servant to prophesy to the Ninevites. Fearful that God would actually bless the enemy nation, the rebellious prophet sailed as far away as he could imagine. Depressed to the point of suicide, he urged the pagan sailors to toss him into the ocean. A great fish famously swallowed Jonah, serving as a three-day tomb before the whale spewed him onto dry land.
When our son Bennett was little he loved play acting Jonah and the big fish. One evening, our role-play of the Biblical story turned enlightening for me. Bennett was three years old. We were sitting on the couch. First I play acted the great storm. I took the little Jonah and threw him out onto the pillows on the den floor. Oh, the waves and the wind were furious. The poor prophet was squirming about down there in the pillows (er, waves) with all his might.
Then I became the all-important great fish. I put my arms out and started my giant jaws motion, declaring: “Here comes the great big whale to eat up Jonah...here comes the great big whale to gobble up the little prophet.”
Bennett interrupted me: “No Dad.”
I repeated: “YES. Here he comes! The great big whale is coming to eat Jonah.”
Bennett insisted more urgently: “NO DAD. The whale doesn’t eat Jonah. He saves him.”
The toddler was right!
Double-check the story. God appointed that fish to save Jonah as he was sinking down. God wanted to restore Jonah, not kill him. God is committed to restoring your calling as well. If you were to flee to Tarshish, God would swim after you and swallow you if need be in order to put you back on the right track. Sometimes the things that you think are going to kill, actually save you. And that’s the gospel!