Some Bible scholars have pondered the question as to why Jonah would have refused to listen to God and not travel to Nineveh when he was first directed to do so. There are a variety of theories. Jonah may have felt it to be too difficult a task; he could have been ridiculed or even killed. Others believe that Jonah wanted the Assyrians in Nineveh to be punished for their sin and not to be saved as God ultimately allowed. There may be other reasons as well. It could also have been the same reason why I didn’t leave my job when God first told me to do so. In short, I didn’t want to be put in a place of vulnerability and I lacked faith. I would be leaving a salaried position that I had been at for four years. I was secure in my position, well-respected by the teachers with whom I worked, and there was no end in sight. I was good at what I did and didn’t want to give that up. Most likely, I could have worked in that position until I decided I wanted to leave. Why give up security for the unknown? I didn’t have to be vulnerable, rely on faith, and ultimately trust God because I was “comfortable.” As with Jonah, God was not interested in me “being comfortable.”

God didn’t share with me what my future would be. He wanted me to just “arise and go to Nineveh” trusting that He knew what He was doing and that my obedience would be in my best interest. He was right! Leaving my position and opening an office in private practice has allowed me to serve more people than I ever could have at the school. Additionally, I can now freely speak about God to those clients seeking Christian-based therapy. This was something that I was not permitted to do in a public school setting. I have also found that as a Christian Therapist I can better serve those who want to come to know God and those who want to enhance their relationship with Him. Like Jonah, when I decided to listen to God and travel to my place of vulnerability, or “Nineveh,” He was able to work through me to reach more people.

All of us have a “Nineveh” in our lives. We are all human and don’t like feeling vulnerable. Having faith is not always easy, especially when we’re well-entrenched in our comfort zone. We typically seek comfort rather than risk the unknown. Listening to promptings from God can leave us feeling uncomfortable and insecure. However, it is in the unknown, discomfort, and insecurities that God can use to help us fulfill His plan for us. It is during these times of vulnerability that we can grow in our relationship with God if we choose to go to “Nineveh.”

Susan J. Calloway Knowles is a Licensed Christian Marriage & Family Therapist and former practicing Family Law Attorney. She is also a Christian music Songwriter. Susan’s songs can be found at www.worshipsong.com. Her website is www.susanknowles.com.

Publication date: December 4, 2012