“So the Lord God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant” (Jonah 4:6).
The misplaced happiness of Jonah was short-lived and soon followed, once again, by anger and the desire to die (v.8). When it withered and died, it wasn’t the plant for which Jonah grieved, for it had only come up overnight and perished overnight (v.10). He grieved over the comfort and pleasure it was providing in the moment. It should be noted that the source of his joy was the very thing that made him miserable when it was gone. Such is the nature of all earthly pursuits. Like a whale, these things can swallow you whole if your priorities aren’t established.