Following and obeying God can be hard at times. It is fraught with pain, pitfalls, and precautions that many do not need to go through. And yet it leads to great joy and more fulfillment than all else in this world. People have said that the only thing harder than following God is NOT following God. And I think that to be quite true.
Not following God.
For those of us who already know God. It's very much like Jonah, isn't it? Very much like knowing the pain of following God, but that it is very much better to serve Him than not to. And in full view of God's eyes, runing away from Him. In full knowledge of the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent nature of God, Jonah ran away. Jonah was most definitely a prophet, not some random man who received a word from God. For 2 Kings 14:25 says "...in accordance with the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher."
We may safely assume that Jonah quite thoroughly understood the qualities and nature of our God.
Still Jonah ran. And yet even as the Psalmist says in the 139th Psalm "where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?" (verse 7), he managed to put no distance between the Almighty and himself.
Similarly, Adam after his fall hid from God. Even though he might have better known that no man could hide from God.
The committing of sin often leads down 2 paths.
We look at Isaiah 30:15,
"... In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none it."
And there we have it. Repentance and rest, quietness and trust. The resultant salvation and strength.
Or, none of it. For those who have enjoyed closeness to God, a mind stubbornly shut against the most obvious fact that there is no running or hiding from God.
And so here I stand. At the junction that many of us have stood. Where it breaks of down a narrow trail down one side. And a highway on the other. Is there any further question as to which path I must choose?
So Lord, grant me your peace as I trudge along. May I "go forth in joy and be led forth in peace". May the "mountains and hills burst into song" before me.
Down the narrow trail. Repentance and rest, quietness and trust.