In trouble, deep trouble, I prayed to God.
He answered me.
From the belly of the grave I cried, ‘Help!’
You heard my cry.
You threw me into ocean’s depths,
into a watery grave,
With ocean waves, ocean breakers
crashing over me.
I said, ‘I’ve been thrown away,
thrown out, out of your sight.
I’ll never again lay eyes
on your Holy Temple.’
Ocean gripped me by the throat.
The ancient Abyss grabbed me and held tight.
My head was all tangled in seaweed
at the bottom of the sea where the mountains take root.
I was as far down as a body can go,
and the gates were slamming shut behind me forever—
Yet you pulled me up from that grave alive,
O God, my God!
When my life was slipping away,
I remembered God,
And my prayer got through to you,
made it all the way to your Holy Temple.
Jonah 2: selected verses The Message
The Book of Jonah is a story of redemption. Here in the second chapter of this short book, Jonah finds himself in the belly of the whale. He had been running away from God, but his escape was not successful. Then Jonah remembered God. Yet more importantly, God had remembered Jonah.
So, at Jonah’s lowest point, he turns to God in prayer. By the end of this chapter, God had saved him from the storm, the waves, the whale and certain death.
I have had the pleasure to be at the ocean and watch the waves roll in. They seem to be rather predictable. In fact, the time of high tides and low tides is easily predicted. Yet the power of the waves can change. On a beautiful day, the waves just seem to roll in quietly. Yet on a windy or stormy day, the waves crash violently against the shore. Now, I cannot say how the waves we are experiencing within our world are going to crash upon shore, but I most certainly know who is ultimately in charge of them.
These days, it may feel like we are in an ocean and the waves keep coming. We are longing for redemption, and calm water. We are now hearing word that the pandemic could be like waves, coming and going. Yet, we know who is in charge of the sea, and who is behind the power of every wave.
The good news is that in the midst of any terrible situation, God is listening. He hears our prayers, just as he heard the prayers of Jonah. God will rescue us. Like Jonah, He can use us mightily in ministry.
When we feel like things are crashing in around us, remember that God has the life ring. He will throw it to us, and it our job is to catch it. So let us remember that no matter what kind of “wave” comes our way, we will get through this with God! Just like Jonah!
Lord, you are the maker of heaven and earth, and the water that flows through it. Remind us to cling Your promises when we begin to feel like we are drowning in the worries of the day. We know that Your eye is on the smallest sparrow, so You most certainly are keeping an eye on us. Help us to set our eyes upon You. Thank you, Jesus, for being our ultimate savior in the midst of all that life brings to us.
We pray this prayer in Your most precious name.