Jonah’s big frustration was that God didn’t do things his way. If Jonah had had his way, the people of Nineveh would never have heard God’s message, and certainly wouldn’t have believed it. Nor would they have changed their ways. And God certainly wouldn’t have forgiven them. He wanted God to destroy them, not save them. But God has other plans.
A lot of our frustrations come from the fact that deep down we want to create a god after our own image. An all-powerful pet, who will always be at our beck and call, and always do what we want. The trouble is, God, by definition, revelation and experience is not like that. By definition God is infinitely powerful, holy, knowledgeable, loving. We are limited in all these characteristics. God has revealed himself as our sovereign creator and ruler. And our experience tells us that his ways are not our ways (at least a lot of the time). That’s what produces the frustration.
We do well to remember that we aren’t the potter and He’s not the clay. It’s the other way around, and He is fashioning us into the perfect image of Jesus. That process, in his loving hands, will necessarily involve some breaking down, some kneading, re-shaping, some time in the furnace, before the final product is ready. Let’s cooperate with him as we move toward that day when we will be presented without spot or blemish.