- â€œWhen my soul fainted within me, I remembered Yahweh. My prayer came in to you, into your holy temple.â€ Jonah 2:7 (WEB)
From inside the fish, Jonah prayed this prayer.Â Some believe that Jonahâ€™s story is just that â€“ a story, an allegory.Â If I begin to place parts of the Bible into sections of â€˜fictionâ€™ and â€˜non-fictionâ€™, it becomes a slippery slope to me.Â God gave me His Word to teach me and guide me closer to Him.Â That is all I know for sure.
That said, I read Jonahâ€™s prayer and I have heard myself say, â€œI feel the life that I thought I knew, my dreams, my wishes, moving away.Â I reach out to You, Lord, because you are the only constant in my life.Â Hear me, Lord, and answer my cry for help with the comfort and peace that only you can give.â€Â Iâ€™ve been deep in the belly of the whale of despair.Â Looking back, I know that God put me there and brought me out. He put me there because it is at that point that I stop trying to make it on my own. I accept my weakness and realize Godâ€™s power.
â€œâ€˜If you canâ€™?â€ said Jesus. â€œEverything is possible for him who believes.â€ Immediately the boyâ€™s father exclaimed, â€œI do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!â€ Â Â Â Mark 9:23-24 (NIV)
There it is.Â In the belly of the whale, the only way to look is up. And there is Jesus reminding me that everything is possible when I look to Him and believe in Him.Â Jesus does not stop there.Â His Holy Spirit helps me overcome my doubt, my un-belief.
All of Godâ€™s words are created and come to be by Him. They are useful for teaching me, reprimanding me, correcting me, and showing me the way to a right relationship with my Lord God.Â This is the way for me to be thoroughly equipped for every work that God wants me to do (2 Timothy 3:16).
Having then a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our confession. For we donâ€™t have a high priest who canâ€™t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16 (WEB)
So, we have Jesus who has lived with God in heaven.Â They have always been. They were there at creation. Let us know that this is where we should put our faith.Â Jesus, God-in-the-flesh, knows and has experienced our fleshly weaknesses and has felt the temptations that we have experienced. He refused the temptation and chose holiness every time.Â He makes it possible for us to receive Godâ€™s love and forgiveness.Â When I call out, when I reach out for Godâ€™s help, He is always there to meet my need.
Oil spills, job uncertainty, more bills and month than money, marriage covenants breaking, and children bruised and confused. The list is endless. The answer is God. Too easy? Too simple? Maybe I am the one making it difficult and complicated.
Letâ€™s take some time to think about that.