Oh, Jonah. God told him to do something, and he simply ran the other way. God certainly got his attention with the raging storm and Jonah being swallowed by a whale. After all that, Jonah did what God asked. He went to Ninevah, a city of great wickedness, the Bible says.
Although Jonah did eventually take a risk and go where he didn't want to go, he still fought tooth and nail. Even after his obedience, he was angry with God for having compassion on them. When I read Jonah's actions and response, I see someone who made it all about him. He had reasons why he didn't want to go, and they all began with "I."
Here's the kicker for me. Jonah 3:4 says that Jonah went through the city saying, "Yet 40 days and Ninevah will be overthrown." Those eight words, and the people repented and turned from wickedness and violence. Maybe there's a bit more to the story, but to me, it sounds like God had already prepared their hearts to hear Jonah's words. All he needed was a mouthpiece...
Thinking only of myself and wishing justice over grace and mercy (referring here to Jonah's anger on God not wiping out Ninevah) will affect my whole being negatively. God is about grace and mercy. When I make it about the fight for justice, I am not seeing the bigger picture. The risk of fighting for grace far outweighs "fairness."I can take a risk and step out in obedience because God is already there to meet me. He sees the bigger picture when I don't. I see through a glass dimly. He sees it all.