The Sell-Out

March 11, 2018
by Lynne Phipps

Jonah 1:1-3 – The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. (NIV)

Every year, come mid-winter, when I am out cleaning the corral in the freezing cold, I contemplate selling the livestock. But as each year goes by, I find that I contemplate this plan for a shorter and shorter span. Why? Because I am learning to remind myself more quickly that come spring, I will be so glad that I didn't sell out. Come spring, I will enjoy being out and about with the pony and buggy. Come spring, I will delight in watching the goats and the horses frolic and enjoy munching on the scrub around the property, keeping it neat and tidy for me. Come spring, the corral will be a blink of the eye to clean up every day instead of a daily, dreaded chore.

This year, as I once again contemplated selling out, such a thought perished within moments, and another thought took its place: how often do I sell out on something that God has called me to do or to pray about, because I don't see it happening the way that I want it to, or because it isn't progressing as quickly as I would like, or because it is just a downright difficult task that I'm not enjoying? Whoa! I thought. This is heavy duty! Yet as I contemplated it, I had to admit that there have been times when I have walked away, and God has had to call me back to task, just as He did Jonah. Thankfully, there were no great fish involved in my scenario.

I am also thankful that in His strength, I not only eventually finished His assigned tasks, even if it did take a few U-turns to get there, but also I realized that in His timing, spring always comes. I remembered how glad I was that I had stuck it out and gleaned the benefit of both finishing the work and learning a bit more stick-to-it-ive discipline through the process.

Maybe today, you are considering selling out on a task or process that you have been called to by God. If so, take a moment and consider the fact that spring always does come. What is a burden today, a drudgery, or just a downright yucky job, has a purpose. In His strength, as you stick to it, you will be not only be growing spiritually, but you will also be able, by faith, to look forward to the success of the finished task.

Prayer: Lord God, thank You that You are so patient with us, and always there to call us back to task when we want to — or even do — turn around and walk away from something that You have called us to do. May our hearts and minds be open to Your voice as You call us back when necessary, that we might stick with it, no matter what, until the task is completed and spring has once again sprung. Amen.

P.S. If you decide not to listen and not to go back to what He has called you to do, watch out for those great fish!

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Another good challenge, Lynne.


    Today’s message is perfect timing for me! Thanks for writing and may you be blessed.


    As always, Lynne, a very timely encouragement. How blessed we are to have your beautiful stories to help us recognize God’s call on our lives, and the constant hope of better days ahead. Thank you so much.


    Another enjoyable devotion Lynne. Thanks for sharing this thought.
    Blessings on your day. Weather is sunny and reasonably warm today. Yes, Spring is in the air!
    (Ontario)


    Thanks Lynne
    A great reminder for all of us that spring surely will come and the winter of our lives will pass once again to the join of the new life we have in Christ.


    I enjoy your writings. I was a child on the farm. Some of what you refer to is familiar but as I went to work elsewhere at only 16. When I think of it, I was as green as could be but my mother said go find work so I went.
    (ON)


    Good Morning Lynne and Thank you for today’s devotional. Yours are always easy to tell from the first line.
    I’m sure your livestock look forward to and count on you and are more than Thankful for your “stick-with-itness”. Your devotional can definitely be applied to all things in life. To take it a step further, I can see that we also must be open to know if we are quitting, giving up, or if God is telling us it’s time to make that change.
    Keep up your good work – with your animals and your writing.


    So many good things to ponder here.
    Thank you for sharing.


    Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. It fit my need for encouragement today. Blessings.


    I always enjoy your contributions, keep them coming. Remember two U-turns put you back on track!
    Cheers and Blessings.


    Really enjoyed your devotional. I have been so busy with church work lately, with our move, that I think sometimes I should watch out for the fish because of the way I am thinking!
    Thanks.


    Dear Lynne,
    Your story reminds of time (apprenticeship) in public accounting and especially income tax season which would build into an ever more stressful crescendo of partners and clients demanding returns for which critical information was still missing; staff which felt somebody else’s returns were more important and the ever-nearing deadline. When the pressure seemed to be too much, for either myself or colleagues, I would always remind myself that April 15th would come – it all be over – and the return could (almost) always be extended if necessary.
    Grace and peace.


    Hi Lynn,
    I have thoughts of quitting things at time, for instance I have held a “Spiritual talk at the local long term care centre for a long time now and a month or so I was tired of it, or just plain tired and I decided to quit. Then I felt that the people who come would miss it, so I decided to keep going for a bit longer. (Unless the people miss me, or I miss them and meeting with them). Kind if what you went/go through. We’ll see when the time comes.
    Thank you for writing


    Amen, sis tag!


    I had to look for this devotional; as I wanted to respond but some of those needed but unpleasant tasks got in the way!
    I really relate to this and struggle with it.
    Your perspective is really appreciated, and I wanted to let you know.

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