Scripture Reading: Jonah 4:5-8
“Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant.” (Jonah 4:6)
It is almost comical to envision what happened to Jonah. He went outside the city and wanted to see what God was going to do with Nineveh. He was being stubborn and hard headed! So, the Lord “appointed” a special plant that came up in a Jack and the Beanstalk manner. The plant provided shade for Jonah in his discomfort (which he brought upon himself). As a result, Jonah was very happy over the plant.
But God was still working on Jonah. So at dawn on the next day, the Lord “appointed” a worm that attacked the plant so that it withered (v. 7). Then when the sun rose, God “appointed” a scorching east wind, “And the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint” (v. 8). This was the end for Jonah. He wanted to die — “It is better for me to die than to live.” God brought Jonah to the point of desperation and he saw no way out of his misery, a misery that he brought on himself because of his stubbornness and pride.
I have heard it said by many that God will not give us more than we can handle. Let me assure you that such a statement is not true at all. Sometimes God does give us more than we can handle. He may even bring us to the point of desperation. He will bring us to the point of surrender. There are times that we bring these things upon ourselves (like Jonah). At other times we face difficulties that come along because of the brokenness of the world we live in.
God may give us more than we can handle; but nothing is too great for Him to handle. There comes a time when we have to cease from striving and surrender ourselves to our God and King. Even when we do not sense it, God is with us and He will take us through our times of desperation. The Scripture says, “Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Isaiah 46:10,11).
Lord, You are my fortress and my strength. I confess that I often bring problems on myself because of my stubbornness and pride. You allow me to be brought to a point of desperation when I finally surrender to You. I fail to be still and know that You are God. I try to fix things myself. Forgive me and enable me more and more to come to You for my refuge and deliverance.
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