Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. He said, “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead,” Jonah 2:2
Ah, Jonah…Jonah Jonah Jonah(smh).
In case you are not familiar with his story, I will summarise it for you.
Jonah was a man called by God to go to the pagan nation of Nineveh and deliver a word. For whatever reason, fear, arrogance, pride, busy-ness, lack of will, Jonah decided not to go. He caught a boat to some other place and ended up in the belly of a fish (warning: don’t make God angry).
It’s easy to sit and judge Jonah or even question the intelligence of a man who thought he could run away from God…I have to take a pause and laugh here….run away from God….really?!
But Jonah is not the only one running.
How often have we lived lives that are not our own or tried to fulfil the dreams of other people (parents and relatives, you are the biggest culprits)? We know we are called to do something else but….we just can’t. Or you don’t even know! Worse you may know however your circumstances seem to be in tandem with that God-given purpose.
Build the house, marry the perfect spouse, have the postcard familia, drive the fancy car, feed the kids, send money to the in-laws. Single mom breaking your back just to put your babies in school without any help from that man (just breathe sugar).
Or you’re like me, so busy hustling and bustling, tryna make it work and thinking; “If I wait for God, I’ll wait forever, I don’t have Abrahams’ life span.”
We all have our distractions, our excuses and our avoidance tactics. Because guess what, following God’s will isn’t the easiest thing to do.
This piece is written to those who have run away and finally reached the end of themselves.
You have tried to do things your own way and it seemed to work but now it’s falling apart. As Pastor Paul Sanyangore says;
“Only a moving car gets involved in a crash, it has to appear like it’s going well before it all falls apart.”
Personally, I believe that only a person who has nothing left to lose can finally live for God. And no that doesn’t connote being a missionary or pastor….get that straight.
“Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” Jonah 1:12 (New Living Translation)
I don’t know who needs to hear this but Jonah did not know there was a fish waiting to swallow him up. I don’t think any normal person jumping from a boat in the middle of a storm does (unless you are on drugs or have amazing faith that makes you walk on water). He thought he was going to die, OK! He thought God wanted him dead.
Maybe you’re going through a similar experience and you feel you are at your end. You feel like you are going to die because you have lost it all.
“Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17 (NLT)
Have you ever been inside a fish? No. Aside from Jonah, I’m not aware of anyone who has had such an encounter. And guess what, I don’t think Jonah would say the same. This man probably thought he was dead. Afterall, he said, “I call from the depths of the grave”. He thought he was dead OK. Finished!
Listen you may feel like everything in your life is dead and your situation hopeless, but God has been incubating your dream and purpose in darkness all along.
Most of us would sabotage our own destinies with our control freak tendencies if we knew them. I heard of one woman who only found out she was pregnant on the day of delivery. She was 65 and God told her that if he had let her know, doctors would have told her to have an abortion.
Are you a child of God? Are you saved by grace? If you answered yes, I want you to know that you are never at your end. The darkness you are afraid of is only a phase. This too shall pass. Afterall…..your God created the light. You’re still afraid, still uncertain….but here we go….here we go hoping and trusting with a staggering blind faith.
Are you ready?
Valerie Tendai Chatindo is a scientist, businesswoman and writer. Follow her on Twitter @tendy_vchatndo
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