I read the book of Jonah the other day. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but when I opened the Bible, that is where it fell open. So, true to form, I read. It’s such a short little book. Honestly, not much for detail. And the ending? There really isn’t one. Most unsatisfying.
How is that an encouragement toward a love of scripture? Or an encouragement at all?
Oh, right. Sorry. See, not everything about scripture is a “make you feel all warm and fuzzy” kind of thing. Sometimes, you need to chew on scripture a little and let it really speak to you.
Oh, I know. It’s Jonah. He was flawed, but obedient. Well, eventually. First there was running away. Next there was confession. Then there was the whole repentance in the belly of the whale thing, which was also about God’s amazing provision. THEN there was the obedience part, followed by the disgruntled disillusionment and whining.
Don’t let the kiddie books fool you, friends. Jonah was a flawed man. Used by God for His good, yes, but flawed.
Yet, that isn’t even my point of today’s writing.
When I got to the end of the little four chapter book, I was left hanging. The story isn’t finished. What happened to Jonah next? How about the people of Nineveh? I looked out my window and huffed. But…?
And then I chewed on that a little and tried to see what God might be trying to tell or show me. And then I thought: Widowhood is a bit like Jonah.
We’re going about our lives and then, out of the blue, told, time to go into a hated and horrible place. A place no one wants to go. A place that is dreaded and even misunderstood. Widowhood. (Not sure how misunderstood Nineveh was, but I know widowhood is, so I’m going with this.)
Nope. Not gonna go. Gonna hide. I don’t want to go there. I don’t understand there. I don’t know why You want me to go there. Don’t wanna go.
It turns out the boat we climbed aboard is headed there anyway. Figures. But, it provided the haven of both Jonah’s boat and the whale to rest and do some healing and find some clarity before boldly walking into widowhood, still so unsure of so many things.
Once there, we try to do what God is leading us to, still not really knowing if any of it is going to work or produce any fruit. We can get a little disillusioned and disgruntled, because this really isn’t anything like where we pictured we’d be and we aren’t seeing a bigger picture and don’t really have any answers and so much still doesn’t make any sense.
However, God is still faithful and gracious. He protects our boundaries. He calls us beloved. He provides for our needs. He listens and loves and guides and comforts. But, that is not the end of the story.
Just like Jonah.
We aren’t finished. We still have more story. We still have more learning and fumbling and crying and laughing to do. There is more for God to show us and use us for. Our story continues. Our life continues.
It’s difficult, the not knowing of, oh, so many things, but we continue. We keep trusting. We keep our eyes on Him. He WILL be faithful, as He has continually shown Himself to be. Widowhood is our journey, not our destination. It is part of how we live, not where we live. There is still plenty more to our story. Step out and live it well.
#widowwisdomwednesday #loveonpurpose #Discover