“I called to the Lord in my distress, and He answered me.”
There are many who would echo these words.
He is there.
So why do we wait so long?
Pride. Embarrassment. Denial.
If you haven’t guessed it, that verse is from the book of Jonah. If you know this story, you have to agree that Jonah couldn’t blame anyone but himself for his problem, like so many of us try to do. Jonah himself even admitted the reason for his demise: “…for I know that I’m to blame…” (verse 12). It took him awhile to get there, but in the belly of that great fish, God taught him a valuable lesson:
He knows where you have been, where you are now, and where you are going.
Much like that anxious parent, He waits for us to call.
You might think this was harsh punishment for disobedience, but God knew exactly what it would take for Jonah to listen. AND OBEY. When I read Jonah’s prayer in Chapter 2, I am reminded that even in the darkest places of life we will find God if we will only cry out to him.
Despite the fact that many of us think that we “owe” God something when we mess up (like we could fix it!), the greatest sacrifice we bring him will not be our penitent offerings or our dutiful service–
He ultimately desires a heart that is faithful—even when we have nothing else to offer.
When we are spent. When we feel like we have run out of gas and have nothing left in our tank.
When time is fleeting or finances are tight.
When grief consumes us or the future scares us.
He just wants you to trust Him. Trust Him enough to believe in His faithfulness to you.
Jonah had only one thing left–a submissive heart that recognized that God was faithful, even when he was not.
“Those who cling to worthless idols forsake faithful love, but as for me, I will sacrifice to You with a voice of Thanksgiving.” Jonah 2:8-9
In the belly of that fish–at the most desperate time in his life–Jonah chose to offer praise.
And God delivered him.
Not just from the fish, but from himself. He gave Jonah another chance to be what God had created him to be.
So what are you waiting for?
I know Someone that’s waiting for you.
And I am so thankful that He meets us right where we are.
I plan to let this verse wash over me–It will be the next verse in my Scripture Challenge: