March 28, 2014

Anger to Pleasure | She Shares Truth: Jonah 3 & 4

For my devotional/reflections/response to Jonah 1 & 2, click here.

It is so great to be back to the She Reads Truth community after months of hiatus.
For the past two years, I have been suffering from depression.
And thus my spiritual walk with God suffered a lot too.
When I would read my Bible, I feel like I was not getting anything out of it.
I went through a lot of pain, guilt, worries and fears that it was so hard to make room for God.
It wasn't for the whole two years though.
There were good times and bad times.
But the thing about depression is if you don't cut its roots, it will just resurface over and over again.
When I thought I was making progress, I really was just swimming over the sticky mud, stood up then swam again.
I tried so hard to be in control of things but I just hit rock bottom.
And who was there to pick me up?

When I decided to go join the community again, the book of Jonah is the current reading plan.
Oh God’s timing is really always perfect, right!
He knows that I would learn a lot from Jonah and I did.
I talked about it in my previous post.

Jonah 3 & 4 are the assigned scriptures for She SharesTruth this week.
One word really stands out for me in this book: COMPASSION
At the beginning of the book, God just couldn't ignore the Ninevites’ wickedness anymore.
God was angry but He didn't just wipe them out.
He sent Jonah to proclaim to them the news about their wickedness: COMPASSION.
When Jonah finally listened to God, he went to Nineveh and shared God’s message to all the people.
"In forty days, Nineveh will be overturned {smashed to pieces most likely}."

Upon hearing Jonah’s message, the Ninevites believed God.
They believed God!
The greatest to the least of the Ninevites, even the king believed in God.
They repented, asked for forgiveness and wore sackcloth hoping that God would change His mind.
Hoping that God would show them compassion and not be angry with them anymore
Hoping that God would let them live
What was God’s response?
Plain and simple.

When I was going through that dark moment of my life, I was mad at God.
If He really is in control, then why am I suffering?
I had so many questions and doubts about Him.
It took me a long time to realize that I really was the one trying to control everything.
I am suffering because I refuse to let go and let God.
Finally when I let go, God picked up the pieces and put me back together.
I still have a long way to go but I continue to put my confidence in Him.
He is indeed gracious and compassionate.
I know this now not because Jonah said so but because I have experienced it myself.

This short book ended with Jonah being so mad at God because of His compassion.
Jonah was so mad he wanted to just die already.
Indeed God’s compassion is sometimes so hard to understand.
It may be too complicated for us, but to God, it’s plain and simple.
I love how The Message put it this way:

God said, “What’s this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a mere shade tree that you did nothing to get? 
You neither planted nor watered it. 
It grew up one night and died the next night. 
So, why can’t I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, 
this big city of more than 120,000 childlike people who don’t yet know right from wrong, 
to say nothing of all the innocent animals?”

Jonah 4: 10 – 11 (The Message)

Nothing was really said on what happened to Jonah after that discussion right?
But I know that God is a God of second, third, fourth up to infinite chances.
I have no doubt in my heart and mind that God showed compassion to Jonah and eventually Jonah understood.
How lovely it is to serve a compassionate God!!!

God I pray that as we are blessed to enjoy Your compassion towards us, 
may we also learn how to bless others by being compassionate towards them 
especially to those who we think don’t deserve it. 
We too don’t deserve all the grace and mercy You give to us but You still give it anyway. 
Break our hearts for what breaks Yours. 
Help us to be gracious, to be slow in anger and to abound in love. 
I know it’s not an easy thing to do but I believe that 
even if we have just a tiny bit of Your compassion; it is way more than enough already.
Please work on hearts as we continue to serve you daily. 
These things I ask in Jesus name.


  1. Sister of The Most High, I found your blog through the She Reads Truth link up. It is a blessing to read your story of turning from anger to pleasure with the Lord. There is such great mercy to be found when we seek him with a repentant heart. I pray that you continue strong on this path, away from the storm of depression and into his loving arms. He will use this trial to perfect you, to make you more like Christ.

    1. Thank you so much Duana for your encouraging words and for the prayer. It gets better everyday when I started really relying on God. Blessings on you too sister!

  2. Hi Hannah, thanks for sharing your story! I just found it from the link up. It is such a gift to read words from someone willing to be vulnerable in their struggles, and I thank you for sharing. I went through a really, really difficult time of anxiety and kept trying to do everything in my power to change my feelings and my situation and my circumstances and felt like it was only making things worse--trying to take control. But then I realized I was leaving God out of the equation and when He stepped in it changed everything. A blessing reading your journey and finding hope in the story of Jonah. Thanks for sharing!