When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.
Written by: James Rogers
Jonah missed it. He messed up. He ran from what God had called him to do and, swallowed in the belly of some massive sea creature, he was waiting for death.
When I imagine being in the stomach of a whale, I come up with more questions than answers, but I am confident of one thing: this had to be a torturous experience for Jonah.
If Jonah wasn’t claustrophobic before this encounter, he surely was after. Can you imagine the changing pressures and motion sickness that might accompany the creature’s abrupt movements? Do you think Jonah struggled to breathe as the oxygen level flatlined between the whale’s trips to the surface? Oh, and don’t get me started on the putrid smells of rotting food and stomach acid. How did he avoid death?
In this verse, Jonah admits that his life was fading away. He was dying and he turned and lifted his heart and prayers to God. He put his trust in his savior and God ended up preserving his life as the whale eventually spat the poor guy out.
There is a beautiful passage in the book of Psalms: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2).
This comes from a song written by a guy named David that stemmed from some of the hardest moments in his life. When David was in his proverbial belly of the whale, he lifted his eyes to the mountains and asked for help. In that process, he learned again that God is good and that He can be trusted.
Thought of the day: Where does your help come from? Who is in your corner when you encounter life’s difficulties? Jesus is and He can be trusted. Maybe right now you identify with Jonah or David, and life isn’t very fun. If you’re struggling, be encouraged. Our God is in control and the promise of scripture is that if you lift your eyes to God and submit to Him, He will come through for you. He might not always do exactly what you want Him to do, but He’s got your back, He loves you, and He can be trusted. This week spend some time with God. Tell Him about your concerns and your challenges. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for caring about me. Help me to lift my eyes to You to see where my help comes from. I give You my worries and my anxieties. I trust You in the middle of my struggles and pain. Be with me always, Lord. I remember You; I honor You. Bless You, Lord. Amen!