Life Coach Magazine

Jonah Vine

By Writerinterrupted @writerinterrupt

Jonah VineJonah 4:6 Then the Lord provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was happy.

Remember what happened to Jonah after he finally went to Nineveh? He sat back and rested under a vine that God gave him. And when that vine shriveled up he got all nasty about it. God pointed out that Jonah had done NOTHING to create or maintain the vine and so was out of place complaining about the end of the vine.

Last winter I had a project that took off with unexpected success. Though I had done the project, I really had no control over how it was received or if it would be successful. It was rather like Jonah’s vine. A comfort. A nice, unexpected blessing

I sat back under this “vine of success” so to speak, admired its leaves, and was overawed by having such a great gift from God. I also went into a three month panic. My heart was constantly in my throat. I was as shaky as an over-caffeinated teenager. I was completely convinced that I would wake up one morning my success would have turned to ashes, I would be outed as a talent-less hack and have to run and hide in shame. I almost wanted the vine to wither so that I could get some peace and rest.

That’s actually when God brought the story of Jonah and the vine that God let him rest under for awhile, to my mind. I could picture it so clearly. It seemed like it had been written just for me. As I monitored the status of my project I began to repeat a new phrase, “It’s not my vine, God.” I was doing my best to be a good steward of this vine, but it wasn’t mine.

It’s not my vine, God.

In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke19:12-28) we are called to invest our talents. Very true. If God made you a singer, you need to sing. If God made you an encourager you had better not keep it to yourself. But God is the one who decides if people will listen to your songs. He decides if people will receive the encouragement you offer. He alone decides whose projects will take off and whose will not.
It’s not my vine, God.

When I fully embraced the story of Jonah’s vine my project that God was blessing went from being a source of stress and worry to being a dream come true, and God has blessed my path since then. I didn’t become a millionaire, or an internet sensation, and eventually, one could say, God did choose to let my vine wither. But because I took my eyes off of the vine and turned them back onto God, I can see the hundreds of ways he has blessed my path since then, planting seeds that may grow a whole vineyard to bless many, instead of that one little vine that just blessed me.

(I know that this wasn’t the original point of the message of Jonah’s vine, but I think if you read the whole book again for yourself, you’ll see that it is not too far off! And it’s just another way that God can use His universal truth in very personal ways.)

Dear Lord,

Thank you for choosing to work though broken sinners like me. Please, by your grace help me keep my eyes on you through all circumstances, whether you offer me a “vine” for my comfort, or chose to let it wither.


In the holy name of your son Jesus,



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