When Things Go Wrong
“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me; from deep within Sheol I cried for help, and you heard my voice. You cast me into the depths, into the heart of the ocean, and the flood closed around me; all your surging waves swept over me. I thought I was banished from your sight and should never again look towards your holy temple. The water about me rose to my neck, for the deep was closing over me; seaweed twined about my head at the roots of the mountains; I was sinking into a world whose bars would hold me fast forever…”
Jonah 2:2-6 (REB)
God had asked Jonah to do something he didn’t want to do. So Jonah took off in the opposite direction. He went to sea, literally, to escape from the Lord. However things went from bad to worse for Jonah (have a read in your bible, the book is very short) and he soon found himself drowning in the deep ocean, whereupon he cried out to God.
What did God do? Did He leave Jonah to drown? After all he had disobeyed the Lord’s instruction. Verse 6 continues from above through verse 7, “But you brought me up, Lord my God, alive from the pit. As my senses failed I remembered the Lord, and my prayer reached you in your holy temple.”
God rescued Jonah! Then told him a second time what He wanted him to do…this time Jonah did not run away. He obeyed and gave God’s warning to Nineveh which resulted in the people of that city repenting of their sins and turning to God. Jonah was active in God’s work, saving the people of Nineveh.
Things do go wrong when we do things that are in opposition to God’s will and, like Jonah, we can find ourselves metaphorically cast into the depths with waves surging over us. God’s perfect will will be done and He wants us to share in accomplishing it. Just as God did not want to lose Jonah or Nineveh, He does not want to lose any of his children. He is more powerful than the ocean and yet ever merciful to his people.
Thank you for hearing our prayers and rescuing us from our troubles.
Study by Elizabeth Murphy
Worldwide Church of God Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
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