Jonah and Me

Posted on February 9th, by Olivia Dummer in Inspirational, Olivia Dummer. 1 Comment

Jonah and MeEvery time I read the short little book of Jonah, I find myself caught up in the painful reality that I identify with him and his story. While I’ve yet to be swallowed by a whale or lose my mind over a wilting plant, I’ve often found myself struggling to understand the path God has set me on, and unfortunately, I’ve found myself running the opposite direction more times than I care to admit. Why would I run? Why would anyone run from the voice or the direction of a God who spans the ends of the earth? Someone who sees all and knows the end from the beginning? How do we logic through walking away from the call, the direction, the Word?

These are the questions I’ve been asking myself, seeking to understand the logic behind our desire for self—our desire to control the parts of our lives that lead to dissatisfaction and pain. We see it sprinkled throughout the entire Bible, stories of called individuals choosing self over God-given direction, tossing their lives into tailspins and pouring consequence into their future.

Adam and Eve redirecting their future with the choice of self, impacting the entire world that followed. Cain and his drive to be as much as he could with as little personal sacrifice as possible. Lot and his path of ease, leading to the death of his wife and demise of his family.

The Book of Jonah opens with a word from God. “Get up and go.” God directed Jonah to walk into possibly one of the most uncomfortable situations for this Hebrew man. He had no desire to walk into a city that had harmed the people he loved; a people who wouldn’t listen to him or his message. He had no desire to give them a chance for a clean slate.

He decided he would rather choose a different future, one with less discomfort and less personal sacrifice. So Jonah hopped aboard a ship and took off, sleeping well in peace because he had found an alternative to God’s request.

What would you do in his situation? Have you ever found yourself pushing down that voice that calls you to change some things about yourself or your habits? That voice that prompted you to cut off a relationship He hadn’t blessed? Have you ever felt a nudge to give something a little extra in the offering and justify your way around it?

We all like to think we have nothing to do with Jonah, comparing his story to those who have left the church. But if you were truly honest with yourself, you can probably pinpoint some moments in your life where you told God that your priorities or preferences carried more weight than the purpose He was calling you to.

The amazing thing about God is He loves us enough to send us storms of redirection. Jonah was literally on a boat and sailing along in the opposite direction of his calling, with the clear purpose of hiding from it all when God intervened. God could have raised up another prophet. He did not need Jonah, but He loved him enough to save him from himself and the path he was going down. Eventually Jonah made it to Nineveh and accomplished God’s direction, but he was never willing to buy into the purpose. The story ends with God chastising him for a selfish and immature mindset.

Jonah—called by God to be the one instrumental in turning thousands of hearts toward the Lord. Yet he was willing to let fear, selfishness, and immaturity drive him to a place where the Lord removed the blessing with a worm. My prayer for you and for me is that we will never allow ourselves the right to prioritize our preferences over the call of God, but rather we would set aside the fear and doubt that can blur our vision and cling to the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Dummer, Olivia THUMB

Olivia Dummer is a student in Blue Springs, Missouri where Jason Huckaby is her pastor. She writes and keeps an inspirational blog hoping to encourage others and share what she’s learned about God.


You can write for InsideOut!

Dont Just Read - Write copy

One thought on “Jonah and Me

  1. So I’m reading this excellent article and get to the bottom and see this beautiful young lady I know…even from miles away you are a treasure OIivia Dummer. Michigan misses you and your sweet family. Take care and keep writing—you’ve got it❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


We know you love to read! Go ahead and take a peek at some of our latest posts.

#AYCCzechRep17 Copy

This past August, nineteen young adults and four chaperones—the Reinkings and the Harrys—embarked on an AYC trip to Prague, Czech Republic to make His...


Summer has arrived and is in full swing. The beaches are crowded, the malls are jam-packed, and every night is like a sleepover. I...

The Truth in the Trial

As I stood in the hospital room, looking down at my eleven-year-old sister taking her last few breaths, I asked a question we all...

Self-Harm Comes to Church

Self-harm, also known as self-injury, is something one in five young ladies and one in seven young men will engage in during their teenage...

Looking to Marry

It was a rainy evening in late September when we first laid eyes on each other. We were both in St. Louis, Missouri attending...

Don’t Take My Word for It

Summer time can be a challenging time in life as it is often a time of transition. Whether you find yourself entering or leaving...

This Day to that Day

Have you ever felt that heavy burden for the lost and hurting souls surrounding you as you walk through your school or you drive...

The Way Back from Loss

My senior year of high school started out with transition and change, just not the kind you have been planning for since your freshman...

2018-2019 Sheaves for Christ Scholarship Recipients

1964 is a pretty significant year. And not just because IBM announced a hip, new mainframe computer system that filled a room or because...

The Rain Reveals

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve experienced many spiritual droughts in my life....

Your Dream Job Awaits

As young adults, we often find ourselves searching and praying for the right job. You may also find yourself searching “available positions in ministry.”