The Middle – A story of Jonah

There is safety in the middle. There is equal space to each edge. It’s the perfect place to regroup and decide where to move next. In a time of peril nothing feels better than being in the middle of hug from a loved one, or in the corner of the couch wrapped in blankets binging Netflix. It feels safe. It feels comfortable. Our society has recently been consumed by “safe spaces” but I’m wondering if these are just spiral journeys to keep us in the middle. Guess what, if this is how we define middle, God wants us closer to the edge.

Jonah’s was called to the edge. But he took a spiral journey before getting there. Initially he ran away into a boat bound for Tarshish. Then the boat was thrown about in a storm until the others on the boat threw Jonah overboard. Then by God’s command, a fish ate him so that he might live until he was spat out onto the beach. Once he was safe on the beach, he started the long walk to Nineveh. Jonah 3:4, as he began his walk, he grumbled. My kids come to mind “are we there yet?”. Then he basically tells God the mission to Nineveh doesn’t matter anyway.

God sent Jonah to save Nineveh
Jonah ran
Jonah was in peril (thrown from the boat)
God saved him (swallowed by the fish)
Johan prayed to be saved
God saved him (spat out at the beach)
Jonah doubts God and complained about the mission.
God saves Nineveh

How many times do we walk in spirals with God asking him for a different mission or a different outcome? I know I do. Worse yet I get impatient in the walk. Or doubt His promise for goodness. What struck me about Jonah’s story is God’s promises and God’s deliverance no matter the cycles of doubt or temporary disobedience we see in Jonah. This Old Testament story sure shows God’s grace and love for His people.

We desire comfort. We desire safety. God wants more of us. If we’re scared to give more, we can just look to the story of Jonah to find courage. God will be with us through the adventures.

So, stay in the middle so long as you need to recover and restore yourself, but keep moving to the edge.

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