by Richelle Hecker
When God doesn’t do things our way.
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Every once in awhile my dog, Luke, decides he doesn’t care for what is happening in the house and he heads to his spot under his pouting tree. Usually it’s due to a noise he doesn’t like, such as a fire detector beeping when it needs a new battery. He doesn’t care if it is raining, snowing, or sunny he’ll go curl up under his tree. On the day this picture was taken, I can’t remember what he was pouting about, although he may have just needed a break from our puppy. Sometimes, it can be difficult to coax him to come back inside, even after I’ve fixed the problem he is protesting.
“So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.”
Jonah 4:6 New American Standard Bible
Jonah wasn’t happy about what was happening in Nineveh, so he sat under his pouting tree, hoping God would annihilate the city. That isn’t what happened. Instead, when the people of Nineveh turned away from their evil, God had compassion on them. Then he allowed Jonah’s pouting tree to dry up and leave him sitting under the scorching sun. God reminded Jonah that His ways are better than Jonah’s.
Most of us have some kind of pouting tree. There are times when God’s solution to a problem does not match up with what we think He should do. We desire justice, while He offers compassion and forgiveness. Then He adds insult to injury when He removes our pouting tree from us. He reminds us that He is sovereign and He knows what is best.
Just as my dog will eventually re-enter the house and discover that the offense inside has been removed, we are compelled to trust that God is working in the best way for us and the people around us. Even if His solution is far from what we expect, believe that His way is better.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO