Friday, June 13, 2014

Voted Off

Each man said to his mate, “Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. (Jonah 1:7 NAS)

Voted Off
When the corporation I worked for failed to reach its targeted revenue for the year, it was announced the CEO would be leaving because of personal reasons, although everyone knew he was voted off the island.

As employees, many of us are also vulnerable to be voted off whenever a business or corporation restructures or fails to perform well. Sometimes we might be selected for layoff because of ‘personal reasons’ like our lack of exceptional performance, and at times because we outperformed our superiors or specially valued peers.

When the sailors cast their lots to find out on whose account the storm struck them, the lot fell on Jonah. Jonah was eventually thrown overboard because he was endangering their lives by his disobedience to God (Jonah 1:7, 15).

Unlike Jonah, Jesus was voted off by the council to die for the whole nation because He outperformed the chief priests and the Pharisees by the many signs He did. Jesus eventually died on the cross to save us all because of His love for us and obedience to God (John 11:47-50; 19:30).

Are we like Jonah or like Jesus? Are we upset or unhappy because we have been voted off the island? Are we feeling bitter or unjustified because of layoffs for the wrong reasons, such as outperforming or unwittingly crossing someone? Is our disobedience endangering the lives of others?

While on the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Jesus did not for a moment feel bitter or unjustified for the wrong done to Him. He knew what was coming and willingly submitted Himself in obedience to God. Similarly, as disciples of our Lord, we should not be surprised by the ordeals we are going through. If we suffer because we are Christians, do not be ashamed, but praise God we bear His name. So the next time we encounter a door that is closed, rest assured another door will be opened. We need only to pray and wait (1 Peter 4:12, 16; Matthew 7:7; 1 John 5:14).

Dear Lord, help us to forgive those who insult or shame us. Keep us calm in spirit and give us Your peace amid the storm. Teach us to accept whatever comes our way, even when we are handpicked to leave what we have come to love. Move our hearts to obey You in all we do. We place our trust in You that when a door is closed, another will be opened. Grant us patience as we wait and pray.

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