No Backup Plan (Jonah 1:1-3)

“Although I know you don’t want to think about it, but you need to have a backup plan, just in case you don’t get accepted into medical school.”

I have been privileged to mentor many students who are interested in becoming a physician. As critical as it was for them to get accepted into medical school, it was equally important to consider the possibility that it may not happen and be ready with a backup plan. Ironically, in spite of my advice, I had no backup plan when I was in college and applying to medical school. Fortunately, I was accepted into medical school. However, I sometimes wonder what would I have done if I didn’t get into medical school. How many more attempts would I have made to get accepted to medical school? During those years of waiting, would I have pursued a PhD program in molecular biology? A teaching degree? What about nursing school? 

As I reflected upon this, I wondered what options do we have if we fail at a spiritual task? Is there a spiritual backup plan? The Bible gives us many inspiring examples of great saints who initially failed in the tasks that God assigned to them. The life of the prophet Jonah is particularly instructive. God commanded him to preach a message of repentance to the city of Nineveh. Jonah went in the opposite direction. 

The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.”

But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the LORD by sailing to Tarshish. 

Jonah 1:1-3 (NLT)

Most are familiar with the story of Jonah. If we refuse to carry out God’s plan, He may not send a great fish to swallow us alive, but God is not mocked. We reap what we sow. There is no backup plan when we disobey God. However, if we do accept God’s task, He will never abandon us. Even if we encounter initial setbacks and disappointments, God will take our burdens and pains upon Himself. God is our backup plan when we choose to obey Him. Why would He do this?

When we confess our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He promises to never leave nor forsake us. He will be with us until the end of the ages. God’s backup plan for us is sealed with the promise of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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