Heroes. They come in all shapes and sizes. The mom on bed rest who prays hourly for her little baby. The high schooler who leaves a party when the alcohol comes out. The little girl who shares a seat on the bus with a kid with special needs. The spouse who forgives and extends grace immediately. I'm humbled and honored to know all of you heroes.
A couple months ago we studied the chapter in Jonah where he prays in the belly of the whale. (Yes, you can start singing the Veggie Tales song here.) I was so struck that this stubborn man was praising God for saving him. Wait. Isn't he still in the fish/whale? And he's thanking God for bringing "my life up from the pit"? Jonah 2:6 After thanking God he promises to make good on his vows. Jonah doesn't try and bargain his way out of that fish. He doesn't say well God, if you do this then I'll do that. So often I thank God for "getting me through" trials once they are clearly in the rearview mirror. Jonah is a great example to me of how to praise God in the midst of them. Can I be thankful in the belly of the whale?
Now Jonah proves he's less than perfect in the following chapter when he sits back and waits to see if Nineveh will be destroyed. I mean really Jonah. God has just rescued you out of a fish and you're complaining about your shade being taken away? And you look like you're waiting to watch a horror movie up on that hill. (Really, don't you expect him at any moment to say, pass the popcorn?)
But maybe that's the beauty of heroes. Heroes of faith or life. They humble us and they are us. They make bold moves and yet still sometimes complain about the weather. This new song, "This is the Stuff" by Francesca Battistelli is one of my new favorites and I pray that my little messes don't ever stop me from seeing how much I'm blessed.
This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I’m blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use