Have you ever decided to go against what God says or where He directs you? Maybe you have leaders or pastor’s in life advising you to do or not to do something but you think you know better. It’s easy to think that we can handle everything or that we know what’s best for ourselves. Yet many times we do end up making the wrong choice. But our sin and pride keep us from turning back to God when we are at the end of our rope.
Remember Jonah? We know that Jonah ran from God. His attitude nearly killed a ship full of men. You see – our decisions do matter!
You know the story, he gets tossed overboard and swallowed up by a whale.
Jonah prays to God while inside the belly of that whale. Chapter 2 of Jonah starts out with the short word ‘then’.
Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, Jonah 2:1
This word jumped out to me because it was after everything else, the storm, being thrown off the boat, and THEN being swallowed by a whale that Jonah finally came to the end of himself. He went back to the Lord.
We can easily judge Jonah but are we any different? I don’t think we are.
Why do we do this?? Jonah could’ve called out to the Lord much earlier. He could’ve asked the Lord to calm the storm after he was awakened by the ship men. Or even while he was struggling in the waves.
But he didn’t.
It wasn’t until he was at the end of his rope that he called out to God for help. When his life was in shambles, he called out to God. When he had made a mess of his life, he called out to God.
When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: Jonah 2:7
We are still like this today. We run ourselves ragged trying to fix our own problems.
We run to our friends, family, social media and Google for help.
We do this before we even consider the Lord.
We turn to Him as a last resort all too often. Only after we’ve made a mess of our lives. Only then do we ask Him to fix it.
And He does. Maybe not in our timing, maybe not how we would’ve wanted but according to His will.
Because salvation is of the Lord. He loves us. He cares for us. He is full grace.
But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. Jonah 2:9
He saves us from the pit of despair when we’ve made a mess of our lives.
Friends, God shouldn’t be our last resort. He shouldn’t just be our safety net. To only run to when we are too tired from trying to save ourselves.
He should be our first stop. We should be so in tune with God throughout our day that it is natural to bring every problem to Him as soon as it arrives on our doorstep.
This passage also reminds me that even when we run from God’s will, even when we use Him as a safety net, when we turn our heart back to Him, He graciously hears our prayers. He graciously steps in. It’s time to stop getting to the end our rope but when we do, let’s turn to God.
What a gracious and merciful God we serve!
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Psalms 145:8