At dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. (Jonah 4:7, NIV)
Jonah woke up ready for another day of comfort, joy, and blessing, only to find the vine chewed up and withered. It’s gone!
Put yourself in Jonah’s shoes: “God, what in the world are you doing? You give me comfort, joy, and blessing in a vine and then a worm comes and destroys my happiness! One day you pour out your blessing, the next day you take it away!” One day the vine brought comfort, joy, and blessing into Jonah’s life. The next day the worm brought sorrow, loss, and disappointment.
You marry in the confident expectation of having children, but a child is not born. Then when God gives you children, they grow up and leave, and it feels like a hole in your world.
You build a business and it is a source of blessing, but as times change, it becomes a burden. Your ministry sees evangelistic success. It grows like the vine, but then the worm comes and destroys all the good work you’ve been doing.
Think about our economy today. God sends a bull market, and we all rejoice in the vine. Then God sends a bear market and we all complain about the worm. The Lord gives; the Lord takes away. This is painful stuff.
This is also a helpful picture of those times when you fall back into an old sin after you thought you had victory over it. The victory made you happy like the vine, but then it gets chewed up by the worm of a fresh failure. Your victory has withered.
What is your worm? What is the source of sorrow, loss, and disappointment in your life right now?