When I was in danger, I called to the LORD, and He answered me. I was about to die, so I cried to you, and you heard my voice. You threw me into the sea, down, down into the deep sea. The water was all around me, and your powerful waves flowed over me. I said, ‘I was driven out of your presence, but I hope to see your Holy Temple again.’ The waters of the sea closed around my throat. The deep sea was all around me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. When I went down to where the mountains of the sea start to rise, I thought I was locked in this prison forever, but you saved me from the pit of death, LORD my GOD. | Jonah 2:2-6
Jonah wasn’t having a very good day. Something had gone wrong with his plan of running away from GOD’S plan, and in the passage above we see Jonah doing some pretty serious self-contemplation…with seaweed wrapped around his head.
Have you ever had one of those days? Where you feel trapped and overwhelmed by your situation? I know I have! And the most difficult days are usually the ones where I realize that the situation I’m caught in stems from failing to obey GOD at some point earlier in my life.
In moments like this, I am reminded how much I have in common with Jonah.
When I’m sailing through life and everything seems great, I tend to forget just how much I need GOD. I start believing the outright lie that my plans are better than whatever GOD wants for me and start replacing His plan with my own. In these times, prayer becomes less urgent, Bible reading is neglected and instead of a mind fixed on the LORD, I fix my eyes on the world around me.
Inevitably during these seasons, the disaster will hit. Sickness, grief, financial troubles, relationship problems and betrayal hit us hardest when we’re spiritually at our weakest point – it’s Satan’s way of driving a final wedge between us and GOD.
So, we find ourselves sitting in a corner, holding our knees, rocking back and forth and with tears streaming.
And it’s in those moments when we should say, as Jonah did, ‘I’m crying out to you, please hear my voice”. Because when we find ourselves in the belly of a big fish, deep underwater, waiting to die, it can be easy to forget that the fish isn’t what is separating us from GOD – it’s us that made a choice to run away from Him. The moment we stop running and cry out to Him, He will hear our voice.
If you’re feeling far away from GOD today, cry out to Him, and let Him lead you back on the path that He planned out for you from the beginning. Stepping on this path will take courage because surrendering your own plans always does, but nothing is less scary than surrendering your plan to an all-knowing GOD who has already seen how history plays out.