This past week I spent a significant amount of time in the Book of Jonah. I love a good story about love conquering all — especially death. The author used such beautiful imagery to help you imagine Jonah’s plight. If you’ve never read it, or haven’t read it in a while, I suggest you add it to your list of good reads.
I can relate to Jonah in one respect — listening to God the first time. A younger version of me freestyled a lot. God would send me one place, and I’d sprint in the opposite direction, only to find myself right where he intended me to be all along. If I were a car, I’d have lots of unnecessary miles on my odometer because I always chose to take a route that led to him eventually.
Perhaps you have a bit in common with Jonah and me. You want to please God and hear well done at the end of your journey, but you want to do things on your own terms. Perhaps you’re not even thinking about God. Maybe you’re just living your best life here and hoping for the best at the end of your best life. Whatever your perspective, know this: God is with you always.
When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.
Jonah was in a world of hurt. The author describes his Pre-whale, During-whale, and Post-whale experience like a powerful crescendo, decrescendo, and pianissimo. I can almost hear the accompaniment in the background as Jonah sinks to the roots of the mountains inside the belly of the whale with seaweed wrapped around his head and surrounded by the deep. Even McGyver would’ve had difficulty getting out of this prison within a prison.
If you’re reading this and think you’re too far gone to deserve this kind of love, you’re right. But if you’re reading this and believe that you’re too far gone to expect this kind of love, you’re dead wrong. Even when you shut him out, he shuts you in so that you’re safe within the fortress of his love. You might be seeing this global shutdown as a prison. I charge you with reframing that mindset and using this time of isolation as Jonah did — to remember God. Trust that your distress signal will make it to his ears as well. Blessings, y’all.
P.S. What’s your story? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you like Jonah? Scroll down to the comments and share.