A Jonah Day
"The trouble is, I've got things the matter with my conscience," sobbed Anne.
Oh, this has been such a Jonah day, Marilla.
Anne of Avonlea, Chapter XII
My Jonah day involved sitting there, feeling sorry for myself and moaning to God about it. And believe me, I had quite a list of complaints and things to be upset about. I even grumped at Him about Himself and how sometimes, though I believe deeply even without it, how it would be nice to have sign, a real sign, for confirmation now and then, that he really is listening to me. As I grumbled on, He told me rather sharply that I was becoming a bit like Jonah.
You know Jonah. The reluctant prophet who heard God’s command but didn’t’ want to follow through. And so God allowed him to be cast into the sea into the belly of a great fish, until Jonah was repentant, at which time God delivered him. And so Jonah went and did the task, which God gave him, to tell the city of Ninevah that if they did not repent, Ninevah would experience the wrath of God. And Ninevah did repent and their repentance angered Jonah, so he went outside the city to wait for God’s judgment, but when it didn’t come, he was angry that God didn’t punish Ninevah. So God had a plant grow to give him shade in that place and Jonah was thankful for it. But then God had a worm come destroy the plant as quickly as it had grown. And Jonah pitied the dead plant and thought he’d rather die because the plant had died, though he was still angry that Ninevah was saved. But God showed Jonah how much more important the people of Ninevah that repented were than the plant and that Jonah’s anger and thoughts were not worthy.
God’s challenge to Jonah was this, “Do you do well to be angry…?” And so it was, that I realized that my anger at my ever longer list of “woes” was not worthy of my anger and despair. I learned that what was more important was whether I am being obedient to God, if I am allowing him to use me, where I am and whether or not I am able to be thankful for what he has given me in this time and this place.
It made me see how sad it is when we get so caught up in all the things in our lives that are “wrong” that we don’t see all the good things.
So instead of moping through yet another day, I got up and found that my day held many things to be thankful for. Simple things, like changing the winter bedding of heavy flannels, quilts and comforters to soft cottons and a linen coverlet.
The flowers potted on the patio, Snapdragons, Phlox, Petunias and Pansies.
The box of millinery flowers that I found when I cleaned the storage shed a couple of days ago. I’ve been craving millinery flowers after seeing so many lovely ones on other people’s blogs and wondering how to get some for myself (a little covetousness perhaps? Something else to work on.) And yet here it turns out I have a whole boxful. And what fun to see it paired with this old sheet music. So now instead of wishing, I need to come up with something creative to use these on.
And there are projects in the works. A new dress for wearing around the house. A thrifted pattern that has just the right amount of relaxed ease and alters easily. I’ll make the sleeves fitted ¾ length and a muslin apron right out of Jane Austen’s time to go with it for doing chores.
And my new stash of rosey fabrics to use in various projects.
And speaking of Austen, there is the new version of “Sense & Sensibility” that was produced by the BBC and WBGH. My new favorite movie! I love the Emma Thompson/Kate Winslet version, but this new one touches me in a way the other did not. The cottage they go to is wonderful. Imagine my delight then to find that one can actually rent this cottage! Something else to add to my wish list for when I eventually get to travel to Great Britain!
The evening ray of light through the trees that lit up the new leaves.
Even tucking the apartment up for night, shutting the doors and blinds while listening to the lingering notes of birdsong after the sun has set. So many things to be thankful for if I simply stop whining, take the time to open my eyes and enjoy the day. Thank you Lord, for helping me to see.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.
Psalm 42:5, 6a