“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.”
Any time you can say those words, you know you’re having a bad day.
Something has gone terribly wrong with your plan and it’s time for some serious self-evaluation.
In moments like this, I am reminded that I AM JONAH.
When life is cruising along and everything seems great, I tend to forget just how indebted I am to the Almighty. I tend to start believing the lie that I’ve got pretty good plans and I tend to begin replacing God’s plan with my own.
I begin to separate “real life” from “religion” and my life starts to feel like some kind of spiritual double agent. I forget to pray, I neglect reading my Bible and my head fills up with visions of money and comfort and success.
Inevitably, it’s in those kinds of seasons that crises hit. Injury, death, bankruptcy, heartbreak and betrayal hit us hardest when we’re the weakest – it’s Satan’s way of driving one final wedge between our heart and God’s.
So, we find ourselves sitting in a corner, holding our knees, rocking back and forth and, with tears streaming, saying, “It’s no good. It won’t work. It’s all over. Why should I even try?”
And it’s in those moments when we should say, as Jonah did, “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple…. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.'”
Sometimes, when we find ourselves in the belly of the whale, deep underwater, waiting to die, we forget that the whale isn’t our executioner…it’s God’s saving grace.
Today, call on God, return to Him and be returned to His path. Emerge from the belly of the whale with a new hope and a new commitment.