Was this Jonah’s question?
Recently I was away with the Church of a good friend. I was asked along to help lead their children’s ministry as the Church fellowship spent a weekend away together. We based our teaching around the story of Jonah. Jonah was an Old Testament prophet asked by God to go to the people of Nineveh. His task was to carry a message from God that concerned their behaviour and God’s judgement. As I asked the children to consider how Jonah would have felt when given this task, One quiet, young girl gave me one of the best answers any child has given to any question asked by me. “Maybe he was thinking ‘Why did God ask me to do that?‘” was her suggestion. When I first heard her answer I thought what a good reply, as I thought more about it I realised it was a great reply.
The answer contains two points of note. First, “Why did God ask me to do that?”. It is as if Jonah was saying – “Why didn’t God ask someone else; someone more eloquent; they would listen to my neighbour but not me; she would understand them better and be able to put it in a way they would accept! Why didn’t He ask someone else?; Why did God ask me?”
The second point is this, the answer contains, “Why did God ask me to do that? Why that? Anything but that! I would go anywhere, but not to them! After all they have done to me, do I have to say that to them? Show them God’s love? Give them a second chance? Never!
These are two of the obstacles we often put in place when God asks us to act for Him. Why me? Why that? These questions are both answered when we look at God’s love for us and God’s love for those we are sent to with God’s massage. God’s love for us means He will always go before us, protect us, have good plans for us. God’s love for others means His desire is for them to turn to Him.