What is being said....

"I need dessert for my blood sugar."

Mallory, 7 yrs.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jonah and the..........bathroom?

Our church has been doing a series on the book of Jonah. You know he story. God tells Jonah (a minor prophet) to go to Nineveh and Jonah says "no" and sails to Tarshish instead. On the way, a huge storm kicks up and Jonah asks the sailors to throw him overboard to calm the storm. He is swallowed by a great fish and stays in the belly of the fish for three days until he is spit upon the shore. He then heads to Nineveh and preaches the gospel like God had initially asked him to.

Last nights message was when Jonah was in the belly of the fish and praying to God. Oddly, he wasn't praying for God to get him out, but he was praying a prayer of thanksgiving to God for saving him from drowning. He acknowledges that God is the true God and all powerful. God then commands the fish to spit out Jonah.

Not many people know it, but Hatcher was a coin flip away from being called Jonas (a variation of Jonah). It was the day after his birth and Jynelle and I (mostly me, because apparently the father is supposed to name the male children) had not decided upon a name for him. We had it narrowed down to two, Jonas or Hatcher. I thought, when he arrives, we'll know because he looks like a (insert name here).

Well, he didn't look much like a Jonas or a Hatcher, and we'd spent 9 months coming up with those two names (I know, 9 months to come up with that?), we didn't have much of a prayer to come up with something on the fly. So, with the nurse breathing down our neck (she had to fill out the paperwork), the pressure
was on. So what do you do when you're under pressure and don't know which fork in the road to take? You flip a coin. Whatever the flip was, it came up Hatcher.

Anyway, last night after coming home from church, it was the mad dash to the bathrooms. I think their teachers fill the kids with water just to mess with us parents, because every week it's the same thing. Running and fighting over who gets to use which bathroom (we have 3 fortunately). I can see their teachers all laughing at their weekly staff meetings "You should have seen the Jacobsens rush out of here. Hatch was doing his 'potty' dance......ha ha ha." Hatcher being the smallest, usually ends up in the bathroom furthest away (ours) and he should be the one to use the closest. Well Bergen and Mallory wrap things up and join us in the living room, but it takes Hatch a little while and when he does show up, he's been crying.

I said to him "What's wrong?" and he responds "I got locked in the bathroom and couldn't get out. I prayed to God and He let me out." Well, we had a good laugh and remarked how it paralleled the message at church (although it was probably more like three minutes instead of three days). First off, I was very impressed that our four year old was praying to God for help in a difficult situation. Secondly, it got me to thinking....How often do find myself in "minor" situations and fail to give them up to the Lord? How often are my struggles the result of my disobedience to the Lord? Usually, I'll just struggle a bit and get it figured out, but what if every time I was struggling, I prayed to my Father for help? Not just the times I am in dire need, but the everyday things too. Maybe He would give me guidance so I wouldn't have to struggle? Maybe He would only confuse me more to make me work harder, therefore maybe learning more? Or maybe He would just give me peace about it and let whatever situation pass?

Whatever the end result, we should always be giving up our worries and concerns to our Father. That is what He wants from us. He wants to be needed. He wants to be relied upon (just as we want to be useful and relied upon by our children). Even when we've been disobedient and caused the struggle ourselves. 1 Peter 5:7 says "Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." How awesome is that! The God of the universe cares enough about me and you to want to be troubled with our most insignificant anxiety. Cool.

Funny, but the sermon that night didn't reveal that thought to me, but my son's experience did. From the mouth of a four year old, I've been reminded that I too need to be praying to God and relying upon Him. I have a long way to go.

It makes me wonder if the coin flip was wrong and Hatch's name was supposed to be Jonas?


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