“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” - Jonah 2:8
In this one short verse lays unending implications. It reminds me of the lyrics to a worship song:
“It’s Your love that we adore, it’s like a sea without a shore. Don’t be afraid, don’t’ be afraid; just set your sail. And risk the ocean, there’s only grace. There’s only grace.”
Following Christ wholeheartedly will always involve risk…the risk of the unknown; or of what He will demand. Sometimes it involves the risk of personal safety…or of comfort and predictability. It is not an easy thing to, as the writer of this worship song says, “Set your sail and risk the ocean.” But, as the song also says, in the ocean of following Christ, “there’s only grace.”
Ironically, Jonah set his sail, quite literally, and took a different kind of risk. Instead of risking in order to follow God, he risked to run from God. Yet still, in the ocean of his disobedience he found God’s grace. Jonah knew firsthand what it meant to cling to the temporary and forfeit the eternal. He clung to the idol of comfort. He gripped the idol of control. He went to great lengths to avoid God’s plan. And when the winds blew and the waves crashed around his plan of escape, he knew what it meant to forfeit God’s grace.
But even there, Jonah found God faithful…faithful to discipline and to rescue and to redirect. Yes, following Christ is risky, but perhaps, as Jonah discovered, not following Him is even riskier. Life is stormy either way. Wouldn’t you rather be on the side of the One whose voice the wind obeys…the One who can call off the waves if He so chooses?
Are you forfeiting the grace that could be yours today? Are you clinging to the temporary things of this world at the expense of the eternal riches of Christ? If so, take the risk and let go…there is only grace.
Father, I admit that sometimes I am scared to obey You. Sometimes what You ask is so hard. Please help me to believe that following You will never lead to disappointment. You are worth so much more than anything You could ever ask me to give up. I want to risk it all for You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.