My Nineveh, the Fish Bowl

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This is where I (Janna) live.
It was a miracle that we were able to move in to a one bedroom apartment four months before Kaeley’s birth, almost nine and a half years ago, and it’s a miracle that we are now living in a three bedroom, two bath apartment within the same complex. I mean, seriously, it’s a miracle that we’re here.
The rent is cheap. It’s safe most of the time. Outside our second story apartment there is an old school playground the children enjoy playing in and there are two pools which Nathan asks to swim in on a regular basis regardless of the weather. The apartment suits us pretty well. We fit if I routinely go through the house and throw away things (um… like Bibles) that we’re not using. We make it work.
But I’ll be honest – I’m kind of over living in an apartment. Okay, that wasn’t completely honest – I really don’t want to live here any more. I want to live the American Dream and live in a pretty three bedroom, two bathroom house with it’s own yard. Then I could maybe see myself as a responsible adult. Then I could host Bible studies and have friends over often and order pizza without the delivery man getting horribly lost within a huge apartment complex. I wouldn’t need to share everything from washing machines to burnt kitchen smells.
When asked what our personal Nineveh is I thought of our cement jungle.
I want my Nineveh to look like this:
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I mean, I’m not picky. Take away the entire second story and I’ll be fine!
But no. I live in:
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But why would God want us here? Well, there are probably many reasons, like me learning to be more than content in His rich provision in my life. But while there are several neighbors that are strong Believers there are many that are aren’t and there are at least three that are actively following a false god. Two of them are my friends. The women are bright, friendly, and would give you absolutely anything you needed. However, my heart breaks that they’re following a dead end.
As Melanie Anderson taught at the last Refuge, I’ve been invited into greatness and, while I am praying and trying to build these relationships with unbelieving neighbors, I am still checking my inbox for the invitation to a prettier Nineveh.
I know I’ve lost the Kingdom-perspective. How could I not rejoice that God has sent us Believers into a fish bowl of many (not all) unbelievers? How could I not see this as a great privilege as I build relationships with the women while we’re in the laundry room washing clothes and watching our children in the complex playground? At this point they couldn’t escape me if they tried!
And how I do pray that the LORD would take over and they would be unable to escape the Truth of His great love. I pray that one day they would not be able to escape the matchless God of all gods!
And with the same amount of conviction I pray for my own wicked heart. I pray for a heart that rejoices in living in this apartment until I see salvation of three+ neighbors. I ask for a heart that yearns for nothing more than God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in heaven. A heart that asks, “God, please help me to totally embrace this great city of Nineveh.”
And the people of Nineveh believed God…

7 thoughts on “My Nineveh, the Fish Bowl

  1. Janna, this is so beautifully written, honest and open! How blessed your neighbours are to have you to do laundry with – believe it or not I ache for those moments of just doing life together! You are inside the gate my friend , in the palace 🙂 for such a time as this and God is going to do mighty things through your surrender.

  2. Thanks for the great post! It is such an encouraging word. I loved how you shared we are to be willing to let God use us even in our Ninevehs. After some pondering, I think one of my Ninevehs are those who are rich & snotty…I can sometimes “pass them by” in my mind because I get so angry and up set they waste away their money on non-eternal things. But since they are not Christians, they do not know – so this reminds me that I am still to be Christ-like to them even if they are not using their resources for the Lord.
    Thank you for giving me the encouragement to allow God to use us even when He calls us to Nineveh.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Paula. I can understand what you’re saying for sure. You’re right. They just don’t know better. I have heard a few testimonies from people living the “good life” as they climbed the career ladder and made good money and yet realized that the more money they made the more empty they felt. God can use even that to bring them to Himself. That’s a good thing to pray for when you want to pass them by. Thanks again, Paula!

  3. Thank you for sharing. I see myself as having many Ninevehs. It help me see it after reading your post. God is great for He is using your story to help others like me see what we miss when we just want to leave our Ninevehs. I pray God will continue to use you to reach many others and share His gift of salvation 🙂

  4. It is of no coincidence that I was able to find and read your writing. Putting your beautiful heart and mind into words, you are God’s messenger.
    Just this morning I started writing on my newly purchased journal. I titled it ” My Nineveh”, without knowing what to write about, as the thought came to my mind without prelude… I stared at my own handwriting hoping to get some inspirations out from those two words..But one thing I know, I am hungry and longing for something…I want to know my purpose, as to why I was born. I want to know why seeing people in poverty and to those who suffered injustice breaks my heart.
    It crossed my mind, that God wants me to go to my Nineveh, a place where God awaits me, to do His will….As I write this, I am still contemplating in silence…tonight may be the time God will come to visit me as I lay me down at the foot of His cross..
    God bless you and your family..You are beautiful.

    1. Your testimony blesses us, Maren. Thank you for sharing your heart on the matter. I will be praying for you today and I’m so very thankful that God will always answer us where we are and when we seek His face He is always faithful to show up. Have a blessed day!

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