I have never met a person who was running from God, yet who didn't feel justified in doing so. However, as justified as you may feel, it is still impossible to run away from an all present God (Psalm 139:7-12).
You can go deep into the things of men (like Jonah in the boat) or you can try to go far (like Jonah going in the opposite direction of God's call). You can even be willing to die rather than obey, (playing the role of the martyr like Jonah).
But it is still impossible to run to a place where God can't see you or come for you. What the book of Jonah shows us is possible is, your running from God always impacts others (Jonah 1:10) and sometimes God's love causes God's grace to sometimes appear like a storm (1:4) and smell rotten like a fish (1:17). Maybe you're in the midst of a storm or this time in your life just really stinks; maybe what you're experiencing is the love of God.
Don't forget, God appointed the storm, God appointed the fish, because God had appointed the preacher. His intentions are not to drive you away, but rather to draw you back.
You want out of the storm and smell? He's waiting for you to remember him - call out to him today. "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer went up to you, into your holy temple." (Jonah 2:7)
Dr. William Burnham is a pastor at Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.