But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Jonah1:3
The sudden swell of shock was quickly replaced with concern as my friend entered her garage. She is trying her hand at chicken farming. Well, on a small scale, she has eight little chicks. Two of which are smaller than the others. Because chickens are not very forgiving and never pass up the chance to peck and bully another, my friend has separated these two from the flock. They may be little but every ounce of them is feisty. The smaller chick’s cage was empty and as my friend looked around the garage something caught her eye. She turned to see two little yellow streaks dart by. She turned to scoop them up however, they did exactly what chickens do best. They ran. Tiny little feet propelled them toward the other chickens. Peeping and flapping, they alerted their counterparts. Now all the other chickens were in an uproar. Flapping, peeping, and trampling one another the caged birds began to stampede too. The closed garage reverberated with panicked peeps and flapping wings.
By this time my friend had ceased trying to catch them and instead watched for a few minutes as the two little ones ran laps around the other cage while the occupants ran from corner to corner following the outlaws. Every time the little chicks attempted to round the cage their feet flew up and they skidded a few inches on their feathered butts. Yet, each time they would regain balance and continued running. Lap after lap, these little chicks gave it everything they had. They had no idea where they were going or how to get there they just ran as fast as those little drumsticks could go while the peanut gallery cheered them on.
It is the chicken’s first instinct to run and they do it very well. It is also a common reaction for human beings. It is also man’s first instinct is to run from God. That may seem strange, but it is true. People run for many reasons. They are often scared of God and afraid of what he may ask them to do or give up. For me, I went through a period when I tried to ignore God. I happily professed my belief in God, but I never really wanted to get too close. I was afraid that he would ask me to do something or give up something or someone. I just did not believe I could do that willingly.
People run away in different ways. They, like me, may choose to keep their distance. Others may freeze up and choose to live with small or respectable sins, believing that their sins really aren’t bad enough to be saved from. And still other may indulge in false piety by devoting themselves to the technical issues of Christian living so that they do not have to face a personal relationship with God. How they try to run, much like the chickens, they just end up going nowhere.
Fortunately, God is compassionate to those that run out of fear or the false belief they are better off without him. We see this in the Bible several times. Probably the most well know is Jonah. He did not want anything to do with Nineveh and ran as far as he could. Jonah was not alone, the prodigal son ran, Moses headed for the desert and even Peter after the Garden of Gethsemane skulked around in the shadows. Peter “followed him at a distance” (Matthew 26:58) Peter did not want anyone to know he was one of Jesus’ disciples and when the servant girl pointed him out, he was adamant he was not a friend of Jesus.
God wants to have a relationship with you through his son Jesus. He understands your fears and doubts. He is waiting for you to stop running and turn to him. Like the prodigal son, our Father is waiting for us. He is only a prayer away and he can hear you just like he heard Jonah underwater in the belly of a whale. And he will forgive you and love you just like he did Peter.
Stop running to nowhere and turn to Jesus.
Typist for Jesus