I recently read the Jonah story. Here's my quick chapter by chapter summary:
Chapter 1: WHEN WE RUN FROM GOD, WE RUN INTO TROUBLE. Because of Jonah's racism, he refused to preach to the hated Ninevites. So, he ran from God's call into triple danger: first a massive storm, then his fellow seafarers, then the giant fish that God provided. No matter how difficult and unfair God's calling might seem, running from God is never a smart move.
Chapter 2: NO MATTER HOW FAR WE RUN FROM GOD, IF WE CRY OUT FOR HELP, HE HEARS AND HELPS. Jonah cried out to God from the stomach of the fish in the bottom of the ocean, and God answered, causing the obedient fish to vomit the disobedient prophet on dry land. Jonah did not have to fix his mess before God would answer his prayer. Neither do we.
Chapter 3: GOD GIVES SECOND CHANCES. God gave his runaway prophet a second chance, and God gave the idolatrous Ninevites a second chance. I'm thankful that God has given me so many second chances.
Chapter 4: GOD IS GRACIOUS, COMPASSIONATE, AND FORGIVING; WE ARE JUDGMENTAL, HARSH, AND SELFISH. In the end, Jonah was angry that God extended grace, compassion and forgiveness to people who did not deserve it. We tend do celebrate the grace God gives us, and complain about the grace he gives those we don't like.
Have you run from God lately? How did that work out for you? It is never too late to run back to Him.