Christmas 2014 Devotion – Day 16

December 16th

The gift of the storm
Go . . . and deliver the message I have given you.

JONAH 3:2

Storms track across the radars. Snow falls on cedars somewhere up in the mountains, piles of white weighing down pines. Clouds keep churning out on the ocean and up the battered coasts and along the ragged edges of you.

Escape can seem alluring. Advent can feel like an advent of crises. A whole string of Jonah- days brazenly begging you to head in the opposite direction, to get away from the dark underbelly of people and agendas and loving the unlovely and loud.

Jonah finds a boat, buys a one-way ticket and sails due west. As if a man can ever escape the grace of God. As if finding your ship isn’t sometimes more like jumping ship. A storm meets Jonah head-on in his escape. It shakes the drowsy man awake with God’s coming, His Advent, and it always shakes us awake also. And it cups hold of Jonah’s wet, disoriented face and flat out startles him with the gift of utter dependence.

Jonah-days chase you for tender reasons. The Hound of Heaven storms after you till you have the gift you need. You aren’t equipped for life until you realize you aren’t equipped.

Think of a personnel storm you have faced. Now think of what you learned from it and how it has helped shape you to be who you are in the now.