Gratefully Speaking... In His Word 11-23-2020


Gratefully speaking… In His Word 11-23-2020

Have you ever felt so grateful for something, or for someone in your life only to find that it was short lived?  Follow the story of Jonah and think again about all God has done in your life. 

Jonah had run from God’s direction, then he finally gave in to do what He said and told the people of Nineveh to get right with God. Then he went to watch to see what was going to happen to the city.

He was sitting in the scorching hot sun. To be true, he was probably sitting there fussing about the fact that he knew God would forgive the people of Nineveh. He also kind of felt useless as a messenger in the first place so I am sure he was not happy, but then God provided a plant to shelter him. It gave him reason to be grateful.  Aha! God was not done with Jonah yet!


Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen to the city. And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.

But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away. Jonah 4:5-7


Through the book of Jonah we read the story of a man who was told by God what to do only to try to get away with not doing it. He found out he had to do what God wanted one way or another and then he still was not content. So God caused the worm to eat the plant to teach him a good life lesson.



Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”

“Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”

Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

Jonah 4: 9-11

Sometimes good things happen to us that do not last too long. Sort of like people who are grateful because a feast we call Thanksgiving in North America is all about being thankful. Then they stop and start getting greedy about getting a gift for themselves, or finding a reason to party.

The thing is the following season is one of Christ, and if anything, we should focus on giving Him thanks for coming to our rescue from such darkness as these people of Nineveh were in. We were just as rotten in our world as they were, and God sent the Christ Jesus to save us with His grace. So our gratefulness from Thanksgiving should flow into the gratefulness of Christ giving Himself for us! We should not allow it to be eaten by the worm of greed or pride! Instead we should care about others, bring them the joy we have received as we accepted the truth of Christ as our Savior and Lord. We should put the focus on thanking Him more and share gratefulness with those around us instead of just worrying about what gift to give someone that will make us be the best gift givers.

Jonah thought it was about his being used to tell the people to repent, but really his story was about him learning to be grateful for the life God gave him.

That’s my take on it anyway!

He could be grateful the ‘Big Fish’ spit him out, he could be grateful for the captain not killing him but throwing him overboard even!  And he should have given God thanks for saving the people of Nineveh not complaining about God’s goodness but rejoicing in it!

Let’s take one more thing from this story. Let’s learn to focus on the other person and how to do what's right in God’s eyes in their behalf. Help others to see Jesus in us this season ahead and be thankful for more than just the gifts, but the main Gift from God, Jesus His Son.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus to this world that we could be saved from the dark world we live in and brought into Your marvelous light every day! Thank you for loving us enough to be patient with us and help us to learn to share this with others, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Read some more?  Jonah 1:1- 10, Jonah 2:1-10, Jonah 3:1-10 and 4:1-10.