Today, I have a question for you: what is your Nineveh? This is something that has been on my mind this week, as all my plans for the summer seem to be falling through. For me, I believe my Nineveh is the Unknown.
Over these past several months, I have been working desperately to find a Summer Internship, and things seemed to be going well. I’ve had interview after interview, and I even got one job offer. But, these past two weeks have been silent, and every moment that my phone doesn’t ring is a moment I lose hope. The job I wanted the most is now out of my reach. That was a really hard one for me.
Last week I heard a sermon in which the pastor said, “When you pray you should say, ‘God, I want this thing; I think you want this thing for me, but if you are not going to be with me in this thing, don’t send me.’” I prayed that this week, and God answered. He’s not sending me.
I’d like to be able to smile and say, “this is exactly what I asked for. God works all things together for the good of those that love Him. It’s not what He wants for me.” You get it. In my head, I can say those things, and I do believe them. But that doesn’t change the fact that in my heart I feel lost and disappointed.
So, what can I do with those feelings? Is it possible to praise God for answering my prayer and at the same time mourn over the way that He answered it? Can I trust God with my future and at the same time fear the uncertainty of it? I think a lot of people would say, “no,” that fear and disappointment show lack of faith.
I think those people are wrong.
Before he was crucified, Jesus was afraid. He asked God not to send Him to the cross (Luke 22:42), and I’d be willing to bet that when God’s answer to that prayer was to send Him to the cross anyways, He was disappointed. Yet, He went. And that’s the kicker, isn’t it: He went to the cross with fear and disappointment, not in spite of His trust in the Father, but because of it.
Refusing to go where God sends us, like Jonah refusing to go to Nineveh, that is lack of faith. Feeling afraid of the Unknown and disappointed when plans don’t pan out, that is natural. The question of faith is not necessarily a question of how you feel about the events of life. It is more often a question of, when you feel disappointed and afraid, will you go to Nineveh anyway.
PC: Marcelo Vaz