And [Jonah] said to them, Take me up and cast me into the sea; so shall the sea become calm for you, for I know that it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship to the land, but they could not, for the sea became more and more violent against them. Therefore they cried to the Lord, We beseech You, O Lord, we beseech You, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You. So they took up Jonah and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men [reverently and worshipfully] feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. Now the Lord had prepared and appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:12-17 AMP)Jonah was a man on the run. He ran from God, straight into the consequences of his actions, endangering others as well as himself. And yet . . . God showed us how merciful and wise He is.
When we run from God, we usually end up smack in the middle of a storm of our own making; sometimes raging so violently it seems the only outcome, the only possible solution, is to succumb to the storm.
And yet, our God is merciful. Our God is kind. He LOVES us so incomprehensibly. He knew we might get ourselves caught in just such a predicament, and just as Jonah was swallowed by a "great fish", Yahweh has an escape route planned for us, if we surrender ourselves, and our plans, to Him.
Now, don't get me wrong. Jonah's whole experience with the great fish could very well have been frightening, and strange, and smelly and uncomfortable. But it wasn't the end!
It was the beginning.
Father God, how I praise You this morning, for You make a way before me, even when I get so caught up in my own version of what I'm supposed do that I seem to ruin everything. But You make the way for me to escape! :-) Thank You for loving me, God. Thank You for saving me over and over again. Thank You for Your Mercy and Grace, that is not only new every morning, but never runs out and never gives up on me. I love you, God of mine. In Jesus' name, Amen.