Theme of the Week: Prayer
Bible Verse: It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night. Psalm 92:1-2
Scripture Reading: Jonah 2:1-10
Jonah is a famous story, likely one of the most famous Bible stories. It is also one of my favorites. There is so much in that little book that points toward our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. The more I read it, the more I love it.
Jonah had disobeyed God and run away from Him. A great storm rages on the sea and the only way for the ship’s crew to live is if they throw Jonah into the turbulent waters. With great reluctance, they finally do it and the wild storm grew calm.
I’m sure Jonah had given up when they tossed him overboard. He was about to die; there was no way he was getting out of that mess. And then a huge fish swallows him. I can’t even imagine what he was going through. The horror, the shock, the disgusting predicament must have been almost too much.
But in that place of extreme anguish, Jonah cries out to God (I wonder how long it had been since he had really done that). And in his cry, he says something profound. He says it twice in two different ways.
The first time, he says, “You have banished me from your sight, yet I will look again toward your holy temple.”
The second time, he says, “The earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.”
These two statements are made in the midst of his punishment, in the midst of his chaos, in the midst of his distress. Do you hear it? He knows, by faith, that God will show mercy to him and rescue him.
Despite the obvious overwhelming bleakness of the predicament, Jonah still trusts in the grace of God. It’s not because Jonah deserves it; he knows he messed up. It is because he knows that God is a gracious and compassionate God. Slow to anger, abounding in love. A God who relents from sending calamity.
Wherever you are, whatever you have done, don’t give up on the kindness of God. Repent. Turn to Him. He loves you still.
Prayer: Lord, I have made a real disaster of things. I have not followed You as I should. I have run my own way and done my own things. But even now, I cry out to You. Save me. I believe in Your kindness and grace. I will look towards You again. I will fulfill my vows to You. I will receive Your unmerited mercy. Amen.
Reflection: What distress are you in today? What discomfort, what pain, what shame are you carrying? Offer that to Jesus and believe, by faith, in His unbounded grace and mercy.
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