He’s got no one to blame but himself. It was a stupid mistake, if you could even call it a mistake. He should have known better. Selfishness got the better of him. It’s too late now. These are the things we would all easily say, commenting on Jonah’s submarine predicament, and for most intents and purposes, they’d be fairly accurate. By extension, the same can often be said of us. We, as Jonah, become disgruntled with God’s means and methods of accomplishing His work, and, believing it would be more profitable for us to strike out on our own rather than follow God, we board our ships to Tarshish.
Sometimes it takes a storm for God to get our attention and shake us awake. In those moments, we can feel life is futile. We are cast off to certain death is a sea of uncertainty, but God does not forsake us. He doesn’t desire our deaths. He only wants our full attention. Jonah faces 3 days of solitary confinement in the belly of a fish. He has no one to blame but himself, yet he is not forsaken. In these days of darkness, isolation brings reflection.
God hears our prayers, even when we’ve left Him, even when we’ve run away, even when we’re facing the consequences of our foolishness. We may give up on God and on ourselves, but He never gives up on us. In the midst of our affliction, we are not cast off. We are not forsaken. If there is one lesson we should all learn from the story of Jonah, it is that God loves us, and His love is inescapable.
“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, and said, I cried, because of my pain and suffering, to the Lord, and he heard me! Out of the belly of hell cried I, and you heard my voice. You’d cast me into the deep…and I said, I am cast out of thy sight, but I will try to look back toward your dwelling place. The waters surrounded me, even to my soul…I went down to the bottoms of the mountains, yet You brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came in unto You.”
I serve a God who hears me, even when I’m dead wrong. I worship a God who does everything in His power to save me and those around me. I believe in a God who has never stopped believing in me. My God’s love is inescapable.
Click here for Jonah part 1.