Why did I start a small group while selling my house?
The answer is the last line of this post.
We are moving but let’s just say I haven’t been obedient in my heart.
I wasn’t following what God was calling me to do. Disobedience took over and much like Jonah disregarded God’s call on his life, I began to “flee”. Not physically flee, but in my heart, I fled.
“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:1-3
The word of the Lord came to the McDaniel family, arise and go to Tulsa.
But boy, I resisted. “But Lord, I don’t want to go. I like St. Louis. I like our house. Our church. Our Friends. Our Framily.” Jonah and I would probably have been good friends if we had known each other. And Jonah would be hinting to me, “Girl, don’t run from God’s call. Let me tell you a little story about me and a big fish.”
Could this be why our house hasn’t sold since July? I’m not sure, but I know I have been running in the opposite direction. Race you there, Jonah.
Recent events (and maybe you have your own recent events of disobedience) have led me to see that I caused my family “to be thrown in the sea and swallowed by the great fish.” I needed to pray for deliverance and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness from God, my friends and especially my husband.
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said,
“I called out of my distress to the Lord, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.” Jonah 2:1-2
In a moment of tumultuous grief and unrelenting stress, my disobedience was revealed to my blinded eyes. I was swimming in the belly of a fear and worry-filled “whale.” Now, I could clearly see what attitude I was walking in, what words I was using, and what I was neglecting.
God’s Best. I thwarted God’s Best for our life.
But when I heard God call me to do a small group, I arose. Living in disobedience wasn’t bringing me any closer to where He had called me. So, in the midst of selling our house, I knew I would have at least four weeks for a study which led me to choose Tools for Living.
I have met some incredible women while walking through God’s Word together. We have realized an important thing about God: when God calls you, don’t wait for the second time. Because now, I want so much to be with my husband in Tulsa and follow God’s Best for my life. I could be walking in that right now, but I have to wait because of the selfish decisions I made.
And know this though, God doesn’t stop calling you.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord.” Jonah 3:1-3
God called Jonah. Jonah ran from God. Jonah was stuck in disobedience. He prayed. He arose.
Where is God calling you?
I know now, when He calls, it’s time to arise.
Photo by Luke Marshall