I was lead to read through Jonah this morning and was reminded of the last time I read that book. It was 2 years ago and during my darkest days of depression.
(I am going to tell you about my response back then and tomorrow I will tell you about my response now. Just to give you some anticipation...)
When I read through Jonah 2 years ago I was looking for an answer from God as to why he seemed to have abandoned me. I was wondering why nothing worked out right, why there was no good anywhere in my heart and life.
I felt all the anger Jonah had with God for 'relenting' and saving Nineveh. I understood why Jonah was angry at the plant dying. I felt like God had asked me to do somethings and then changed his mind (just like I knew he would) and like he gave me a blessing only to snatch it away the next day. But I didn't understand why the book ended with God saying, "And should I not pity Nineveh?" I didn't understand why he put Jonah through all that, why Jonah got nothing out of the deal except anger and bitterness. I didn't understand why God got the last word and it wasn't good toward Jonah.
I went away from reading this book with a lot of anger towards God and my situation. I was sad and angry and proud and selfish. I had missed the whole point of Jonah's story and wasn't going back to that book again. Maybe not even God...
This morning I think very differently. I was given understanding and insight. Moreover, I don't hate this book (or God) anymore.