My reflection in today’s Give Us This Day:
Jonah’s anger and attitude sound all too familiar. He is beside himself with frustration over what God has not done for him, his rage so intense he says he’d be better off dead. Even if we’ve never said it out loud, there’s a good chance we’ve felt that kind of desperation at some point in our lives.
Maybe our rage was warranted to a degree—a loved one claimed by cancer, a job claimed by downsizing, a home claimed by flood. For far too many people, anger and rage, even against God, seem reasonable in light of the hand they’ve been dealt. And yet the people who’ve been put to the greatest test are often the ones least likely to make a fuss. Faced with monumental loss or suffering, they cling to God, knowing the only way out is through.
For many of us, however, desperation grows out of far less dramatic life events, maybe even minor daily annoyances. We shake our fist at God’s unfairness, like Jonah railing over the withered gourd plant. But do we have reason to be angry?
We cannot reap what we do not sow. Until we recognize God as “gracious and merciful” during both the joys and sorrows of our lives, we are likely to be beaten down by the burning winds of our daily struggles. The choice is ours: arid desert or life-giving waters, seething anger or boundless love, living death or life without end.
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