We all (or most of us) know the story of Jonah…if you don’t here’s the rough outline.
God calls Jonah to go to Ninevah to preach the Word of God. Jonah says heck no and goes on a boat to Tarshish. A storm comes on the boat, where Jonah realizes it’s God and so has the men throw him overboard into the raging sea. He is then swallowed by a whale, kept in its belly for 3 days and is then spit out onto the shore.
What I want to focus on is the line referring to Jonah’s whale. It says,
“But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17)
Jonah was swallowed by a whale, something that should have killed him, lights out…he should have been dead. In that moment, all hope could have been lost, Jonah could have blamed God, questioning him on how he could allow such an awful thing to happen to him. But instead, Jonah thanked God for his provision and cried out to God to help him. And what happened then…?
“And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”
We can all relate to Jonah. Awful things happen to us, we are surrounded by awful situations, and we are in the midst of hardship. We wonder how God could have ever let our “whale” “swallow” us. But we need to keep in mind that our “whales” are perfectly placed in our lives. It says in scripture, the LORD provided the whale and then the LORD commanded the whale. I’m not saying that God puts hardship in our life all the time, but what I am saying is that sometimes what seems like hardship to us, is actually just another step for God to redirect us to his path. Jonah was spit back onto the shore in order to then go to Nineveh to do God’s will.
While our whales may seem large and destructive, they often times are simply good things in disguise….a perfectly placed blessing in the midst of putting us back on God’s track. The best thing to do then, is do like Jonah did; call out to God and see what He wants. Because God’s plan is so much better than our plan.
Need a little pick me up in the midst of your storm…watch a little Veggietales…it always lightens the mood!