“And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery” (Jonah 4:6).
God was one to have love and grace over Jonah. He not only showed mercy on the people of Nineveh but also on Jonah. God found Jonah in a frustrating mood as He reverted His decision of destroying Nineveh and to comfort him God created a plant there so that he stays in the shade. The Scripture says, “So Jonah was very grateful for the plant” (Jonah 4:6).
Just like the shade of that plant, God provides you with the worldly blessings. He gives you a family of wife and children, education and wealth. But He is saddened when you place your hope on the blessings of the world rather than placing it on Him as it is He who gave you all these things.
Some people will pray for a longer duration and love God while seeking good employment but once they receive a good job they will forget God and say that they are too busy in their job and they don't even find time to pray. Yes. The shade of this plant indicates the greatness of the world.
God willed to teach a lesson to Jonah as he preferred to stay put under the shade of the plant. “But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm and it so damaged the plant that it withered” (Jonah 4:7).
Dear children of God, all those things like parents, children, property, educational achievements, positions and money will deprive you even before you expect such things to happen. Life in the world stays forever as an illusion. The same plant which gave sweetness, coolness and feeling of ecstasy became a stick on the very next day.
Are you running behind the pleasures of the world forgetting God? Realise that you are running towards the danger. God may have to send a worm against your life. You will be subjected to sorrow when that worm destroys the plant and thereby removes the shade. When the plant was eaten by the worm, Jonah sadly said, “Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!” (Jonah 4:3).
When such shade giving plants are removed in life, many people run towards suicide. They lament saying why this happened and how God allowed this to happen. Dear children of God, desist from running behind the shade of the plant and run towards the shade of God who is the Most High. Only that will give you eternal joy and happiness.
To meditate: “For you have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat” (Isaiah 25:4).