Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. He said,
“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble,
and he answered me.
I called to you from the land of the dead,
and Lord, you heard me!
You threw me into the ocean depths,
and I sank down to the heart of the sea.
The mighty waters engulfed me;
I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. (NLT)
We sometimes have to hit rock bottom before we realise just how far we have drifted from God and just how much we need his help. Jonah had purposely gone off in the opposite direction when called by God to preach to Nineveh. He brought trouble on himself and others on the boat in which he travelled.
Now he is a man overboard. But in the depths, he realises the error of his ways and he also realises God has not deserted him. In fact, he sees his present misfortune as a blessing in disguise. It is as if God has allowed him to get into this terrible mess just so he can come to his senses.
Our God is not a God who sends evil, he is not the author of misfortune, he is not the source of trouble. But he often allows all this to come on us in order that we, like Jonah, may call out to him. When all is going well we tend to forget about God. We can handle things very well on our own. But when we are tossed into a life-threatening storm we recognise just how helpless we really are.
Our trust in God is not based on a belief he will stop us getting into deep trouble. Our trust in him is based on our belief that he is there with us in the depths, willing to sustain us, able to lift us out.
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