I’m making like Jonah and …

…running.

Sometimes I feel like I want to run away.

It’s not easy for me to tell you that, but I know some of you feel the same way, and I thought it might help you to know you’re not alone.

It’s the stress that does it; I know this logically. My life can become fairly complicated fairly quickly, and that’s not to compare mine to yours or yours to mine, it’s just to say – it is. And I know it is for you too.

For me, it’s kids, their activities, their needs, their time, their need for time. It’s my big family, their needs, my relationships, their worries, my worries – you get it.

It’s my husband and his schedule, his time, his lack of time, our lack of time together, our needs, our worries, the little things that come up, and the big things that never do because there’s no time.

It’s work, and being pulled in fifteen different directions, while wanting to help or serve or choose or smile, but … well, like I said, sometimes I want to run away from everything.

But when I do have some down time – make some down time – some of that stress and worry and exhaustion goes away, and my head clears.

And I remember when I take those deep breaths that God has opened up my life and blessed me richly, beyond what I would have ever imagined. It’s not boring; it does get stressful, but it is blessing.

In April, we begin a new Wednesday evening study at 6:00 pm each week at Orenco Church. Mark and I will be teaching for four weeks on the Old Testament book of Jonah. Jonah knew quite a bit about running away – running from his life, others’ expectations, his fears, and from what God had called him to and designed for him.

I’ve run away from God plenty of times, in big ways I’ve shared before and also in small ways I fail to realize every day. And each time I’m brought something new, whether distress or eustress (“stress that is deemed healthful or giving one the feeling of fulfillment”), I’m tempted again to make like Jonah and run.

This temptation to flee for me comes from feeling scared, overwhelmed, or tired, and like the men on the boat Jonah fled to, each of us cry to our own “gods” (Jonah 1:5). And our greatest god, of course, is pride – feeling we’ve got this all under control on our own.

Jonah didn’t, and I sure don’t either, and like him, when I turn to him when I’m tempted to run, he reminds me that he will deliver me from—as Jonah would say—the flood that surrounds me.

I hope you will join us on Wednesday evenings in April, and more than that, I pray for you that you remember and find the hope we have in God and in His deliverance of us.

Amen.

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