Wilderness Living (4)
I think I'm a "runner" - like Jonah in the Bible. He was the prophet that got swallowed by a whale (or a big fish of some kind) when the Lord tasked him to go to Ninevah. God wanted Jonah to warn the people in that city that He was going to destroy them if they didn't get their act together. Jonah wanted no part of that assignment, so he ran away; but God had other plans! Since becoming a Christian, my life has become a series of "instant changes." I think the Lord - who knows me much better than I know myself - knows that if I thought about some assignment long enough, I would head for the hills. I have been blind-sided numerous times since the early 90's. An "instant change" has often sent me scrambling into action or hitting my head up against a door He slammed on something I thought I would do for years. For example: I was writing almost half of a local newspaper for over a year when one day - with very little warning - the paper was shut down. Hopefully, it had nothing to do with my writing! A few months pass and I find myself writing for a ministry - a dream job I had prayed for from the time I started writing. Again, no warning. I was asked one week to write for them and started the following week. Eight months ago - over the course of 10 days - I was very ill with some mysterious disease no one was able to diagnose. Once diagnosed, I sat hour after hour in a chair feeling like my life of productivity was over. Yesterday, during my time with the Lord early in the morning, the reality of my healing hit and I couldn't stop sobbing. Not only am I healed, I'm sitting as I write this in another state working in ministry once again. I was sitting - quite contented - working from home and now, 10 days later, I'm sitting in another state with additional responsibilities. It was only six weeks ago I couldn't travel more than 2 hours from my home without experiencing pain for several days. What a God we have! That's why I think I must be a runner like Jonah. God doesn't give me much information or a "heads up" warning prior to giving me an assignment. He is simply protecting me from myself! I'm so grateful that He meets us right where we are - sick or well, young or aging, energetic or tired, willing or unwilling. Our heavenly Father knows best! By the way, I am under no illusions! He will remove me from this season one day as quickly as He put me into it. I don't expect much warning. This is how my Master works with me and accomplishes His purposes through my life. A dear friend recently told me that he wanted God to "use him up" for His purposes while he remained on earth. After eight months of illness, I truly understand that desire - especially since I am much older than my friend. I have the same goal for the balance of my life. That kind of surrender was scary prior to my illness; it's now so reassuring. I finally "get" that He knows best!