“Grammie, please turn on the night light. It’s dark in here.” Absolutely. I’m happy to turn on the night light for our grandson.
We have a heavenly Father who is a loving parent, and hears our troubled cries in our times of distress. In those dark places we can experience His light. I’ve taken time this month to write out each verse in the book of Jonah. And, his story is challenging my heart in some new ways.
In the first chapter, we read the words, “But Jonah” two different times. “But Jonah” ran away…“But Jonah” went on the ship and was sound asleep. This man was doing everything in his power to ignore the word of the Lord and he was intent on running far away from God. However, the Lord had other plans.
“But the Lord hurled a great wind toward the sea, and there was a violent tempest on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.” ~Jonah 1:4
Do you realize three scenes of this story have already taken place? The word of the Lord came to Jonah (Jonah 1:1), Jonah boarded a ship to Tarshish away from the presence of the Lord (Jonah 1:3), and the violent tempest on the sea (Jonah 1:4). Now, please notice the word, then, in chapter two, verse one.
“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, and said, ‘I called out of my trouble and distress to the Lord, and He answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried for help, and You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, into the deep heart of the seas, and the currents surrounded and engulfed me; all Your breakers and billowing waves passed over me.’ Then, I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.’” ~Jonah 2:1-4 [emphasis mine]
Jonah’s story is one that we are familiar with, and yet the Lord is able to teach us and impress new truths on our hearts. The Lord wants us to come to Him first – before we take a step to the left or right. We tend to forget that we can turn to God in prayer at any time. We don’t need to wait for the darkest hour or a terrible storm to come upon us.
Lord, I want to be still enough to hear Your voice when You speak to me. It’s my heart’s desire to walk in obedience to Your will and plan for my life. And, I’m so thankful that when I mess up and find myself in a dark place, You will hear my cry for help. You are the true source of light in this dark world.
You might find yourself in a dark place today. I encourage you to read the prayer in Jonah 2. Turn your face to the Lord and cry out to Him. He is faithful to answer our prayers.