The LORD sent a big fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.Â Â Jonah 1:17 (CEV)
When I read a Bible passage I try to put myself into the story. It’s a little difficult to see myself inside an Orca or Humpback whale. However, I used to have a closet under a staircase that I can imagine myself, with the light off, in that space. Three days. That would be a very long time in that space, wouldn’t it? I definitely think that God would have my attention if that happened to me.
If I read through Jonah’s prayer while he was in the whale, what does it tell me he learned?
God will allow me to be swept by some big waves. That can be a difficult lesson to accept. But God wants me to learn. And He wants me to come closer to Him. What does a child do when they walk into a big, unfamiliar place? They press in closer to their parents. Just as a child is overwhelmed by a stadium or an auditorium, a parent is not only physically bigger but they know that the place is just concrete and wood; nothing scary. Creator God has the same perspective on anything that seems huge to me. I can press up close to my LORD. He’s my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer, my strong Tower.
God will hear me and answer when I call to Him. God promises His response. God speaks His love for me and calls me His child. If you aren’t sure about that, then spend some time on a word study for â€œpromiseâ€, â€œloveâ€, â€œchildâ€, â€œFatherâ€. If you don’t have a little concordance in the back of your Bible, go to www.Biblegateway.com . I can spend 15 minutes, an hour or several days on a study. I come away from the study more connected and in a stronger, more peaceful place in my relationship with Jesus.
Keep my eyes on God, not the waves. Peter succinctly shows me in his experience stepping out of the boat and into the waves that keeping my eyes on Jesus is how to walk (Matthew 14:22-33). What good does it do for me to stare at the â€œgiant waveâ€ in my life? Does wringing my hands make it better? When I am beat by high waves of situations, what helps me is to cry out to God. Tears may flow and, because I am so stubborn, it may take some time, but Jesus is still going to be there with me, talking it out and drying my tears. And then I step out of the boat and follow Jesus across the waves of my life.
Jesus doesn’t lie. He tells me that the cost of following Him involves sacrifice. It involves commitment. But He also tells me and shows me that I won’t be alone. Hmmm. Was Jonah alone? I don’t think so.
Jonah was sent to deliver a message to a city. He didn’t want to deliver it because he made the judgment that the city deserved to be destroyed. Jonah did not have his eyes and focus where it belonged. He was taking God’s job. So when the king and the entire city repented and God forgave them, Jonah was not happy about how his circumstances came out. Now that sounds familiar! From God’s position, He can see the big picture in my life. It can be scary and frustrating to follow without being able to see where I am going. Trust. Faith. More time with Jesus = More faith and trust in Jesus. Let’s step out into the Light!