I’m growing tomatoes in a container garden at my house. I don’t want to plant a permanent garden in the house where I live, but I still want to grow some vegetables. So, a few months ago, I started tomatoes and several kinds of peppers from seed, and the tomatoes are big enough to put outside. They’ve been outside since late last week, but now one of them has wilt and what looks to be some kind of blight on them. How quickly things change.
That’s just like the time when I was on a project in Wisconsin. It was a tough place to work, with lots of political infighting and poor leadership at the top. Yet I led a small team that brought a project from behind to on-schedule and under budget in just a little over six weeks. One Monday morning (the day after Easter, in fact) I woke up and was unable to stand. True confession: I’d had a LOT to drink the day before and thought it could just be a hangover. But it didn’t get better as the day wore on, and I was unable to travel to Wisconsin that week. In fact, I could barely walk because my something was wrong with my equilibrium. That was the start of troubles for me on the project. A few weeks later, I was replaced by a CIO who had been gunning for me anyway. Flash forward a year and I learned that there was a brain tumor pressing on my auditory nerve. Nobody could have known it was even happening. But how quickly things change.
That’s like when Jonah was upset at God for not smiting Ninevah. Jonah walked out of the city and found a cool place to pout (and hopefully watch Ninevah be destroyed by fire and brimstone). A vine soon grew up to cover Jonah’s shelter, and he got to cool down in the shade. But now we learn that a worm started munching on the vine and the cooling vine began to wither, depriving Jonah of his shade. Everybody say it with me: “awwww.” Poor, poor, pitiful Jonah. And, how quickly things change.
Know what doesn’t change? God. In fact, God sent the worm to teach Jonah a lesson. You could actually look at the worm as a messenger of mercy. God could have smacked Jonah, but, instead, He used the vine and the worm for a teachable moment. Tell me friend, have things quickly changed and what did you learn? Where have the worms eaten your shelter to teach you a lesson or two? How quickly are things changing?
For further reading: Joel 1:12, Jonah 4:8
Merciful God, thank You for the moments and ways in which You teach me!
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