Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 9, 2020

A Reminder From A Reluctant Prophet

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

Like smoke from a smoldering campfire, hate seems to be rising to permeate the air. The media message repeats, “division, division, division,” generating an underlying drumbeat to inflame anger where there once was peace. We’re being relentlessly pitted against each other—black versus white, woman versus man, left versus right. The list is seemingly endless today.

Although I stay far from the news, I’m not completely ignorant to what’s going on—especially in my own state. See, while our attention has been focused on the fires (figurative and literal), my governor has been plotting and scheming for fundamental shifts in the landscape of morality and liberty, with the big reveal made on July 1. And, although I usually give a nod of acknowledgment to what’s going on “out there,” and then quickly turn back to God’s Sovereignty and His Truth, I’m finding it harder and harder to do so.

I’m feeling upset and angry—dare I say it: hateful.

But, as I sat down this morning to read the Bible, Jonah’s saga read me. As usual, God’s Word is active, sharp, and heart-judging (Hebrews 4:12). See, the Ninevites where brutal—torturing and murdering Jonah’s people in unimaginable ways. And Jonah wanted God to take them out—not redeem them.

Much like Jonah’s aggravation at God’s desire to deliver Israel’s merciless enemy, I had to reflect on how obstinate I’m being about my own antagonist. This wild adventure of a reluctant prophet piercingly reminds me of a few key Truths:

1. I was once an enemy of God.
2. God was patient with me (for 30 years), extending mercy, grace, and forgiveness for my salvation.
3. He’s still patient with me and still extends mercy, grace, and forgiveness every day—because I sin and fail Him. Every. Single. Day.

And these Truths beg one big question: How dare I think that God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness stop at me and “my people” (whatever that means)?

God’s lesson to Jonah reminds me (again) that instead of anger toward my perceived enemies, I need to pray for them. (And that means praying for them to turn to the Lord—not for the Lord to turn on them!) I need to stand firm on God’s Word, speaking Truth in love, despite how counter-cultural (or counter-state-law) it may be.

I was once lost, now I’m found. “They” (pick your “they” here) are no different. Thanks for the reminder, Jonah.

“Lord, remind me daily to replace anger with prayer, division with peace, fear with love.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Ministry


  1. Great reminder, Julianne-Thank you!

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