WILL WE OPEN THE GIFT?
Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.
One of the many tragedies of life is that God’s grace — his free gift of unmerited favor and love — is too often left as an unopened package. And if Jonah had chosen not to receive God’s free gift of grace, he would have forfeited his hope of salvation, his chance for reinstatement, and his opportunity to become reusable and reclaimed for God’s work.
The conclusion of the movie The Fugitive has uncanny parallels with Jonah’s life. As Dr. Kimball continues to run from the police and the federal marshal, he learns the identity of his wife’s real killer. In the end, Dr. Kimball eludes each of his potential killers, only to be arrested by the federal marshal.
However, after Dr. Kimball slides into the backseat of the federal marshal’s car, the marshal takes off Dr. Kimball’s handcuffs and hands him an ice pack. Since at the outset of the chase the marshal had said that he didn’t care if Kimball were innocent or guilty, Dr. Kimball says to the marshal, “I thought you didn’t care.”
The marshal replies with a chuckle, “I don’t. Don’t tell anybody, OK?”
In Jonah’s story, it appears that God didn’t care. With the storm threatening Jonah and the large fish swallowing him, it even appears that God was trying to kill Jonah. But he was not. God cared (and, unlike the federal marshal in The Fugitive, he wanted all to know it). He was trying to save Jonah. He wanted him to live not as a fugitive but as a free man.
When we stop our running and accept the grace that God offers, we also will live in freedom and fulfillment. ♦
I don’t want to run anymore. I want to live in the freedom of your grace …