In A Sulk
Jonah just left. He want out to the city to the east and st down in a
sulk. he put together a makeshift shelter of leafy branches and sat
there in the shade to see what would happen to the city.
God arranged for a broad-leaf tree to spring up. It grew over Jonah to cool him off and get him out of his angry sulk. Jonah was pleased and enjoyed the shade. Life is looking up.
But then God sent the worm. By dawn of the next day, the worm had bored into the shade tree and it withered away. The sun came up and God sent the hot, blistering wind from the East. The sun beat down on Jonah's head and he started to faint. He prayed to die: "I'm better off dead!"
Then God said to Jonah, "what right do you have to get angry about the shade tree?"
Jonah said, "plenty of right. This made me angry enough to die!"
God said, "what's this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about Amir shade tree that you did nothing to get? You neither plant nor watered. It grew up one night and died the next night. So, why can't I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, this big city of more than 120,000 childlike people who don't yet know right from wrong, to say nothing of all the innocent animals?"
Read -- allow the words and events of this passage to become familiar to you as you read. Let yourself sink into the scene described.
Think -- as you hear God's conversation with Jonah, think about how you would describe his reaction to Jonah's anger. Now read God's words again, and pay attention to the tone of voice you imagine God using. Isn't condemning? Mocking? How might your perception of God shift if the same words were said in a tender but firm voice?
Pray -- what do you feel when you hear Jonah expresses anger? When you see him walk away? Perhaps it makes you nervous or uncomfortable, or maybe there are times when you, too, want to yell at God. Talk to God about what you notice in your response, or write about it in a journal. Give yourself permission to be open and honest.
take some time to consider this statement: "God will love you even if
you never pray." Do you believe it? Talk to God about your reaction.
Recall your first, instinctive perception of God's response to Jonah. What does this show what you believe to be God's feelings toward you when you are resentful or disobedient? Ask God to help you understand that over coming months what God's love for you is like and to help you take it in and receive it.
Our Lectio Divina posting is take from The Message: Solo - An Uncommon Devotional by Eugene Peterson