Monday, August 3, 2015

Facing God

Daily reading: Jonah 3:1-10
August 3, 2015

Focus scripture: God saw what they were doing – that they had ceased their evil behavior.  So God stopped planning to destroy them, and he didn’t do it.  Jonah 3:10

I can remember quiet clearly the day that I crashed my mom’s car.  I had just turned 16 and was in a part of downtown St. Louis that my dad had asked me not to go to and I got into a car accident.  There was no hiding the fact that I did exactly the opposite of what my dad had asked me to do. 

My mom had to come and get me and my friend because my dad was so angry with me.  So the next day after a long night of not sleeping my dad finally came into my room and I really thought he was going to give me a long angry lecture and just asked if I wanted to go and get some ice cream with him.  I said sure and he handed me the keys to his car, the one I hadn’t crashed.  At first I hesitated and he said, “you know Leslie you’ll have to get behind the wheel again.”  It was my second chance, not to mention a moment of mercy and compassion on behalf of my dad.

The power of this story of Jonah is that God not only gives second chances to Jonah, God also gives them to the Assyrians, God gives them to you and to me.  God gives them even when we don’t think we deserve them, God gives them even when we don’t think others deserve them, because as Jonah said God is a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. 

Prayer:  God thank you for showing us the places in our lives that need to be changed, for offering us forgiveness and for giving a second chance, may we be that merciful and forgiving to those who wrong us.  Amen.

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