“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”🙏Jonah 2: 2a, 6, 9s
Peace and good to all.
If I may share my personal reflection on the above passage from the Book of Jonah.
The above quoted verse is an excerpt from Jonah’s prayer, while he was inside the belly of a fish. We know about the story of Jonah, right? Jonah, a prophet who ran away from the Lord because he did not want to follow what the Lord our God instructed him to do. He flee as though he can hide from God. He boarded a ship to get away from the Lord so God hurled a storm against the ship where he was hiding. And, when he realized that he cannot flee from an all-present Sovereign God, and in order to spare the other passengers of the ship, he asked them that he be thrown out into the sea. And, yes, Jonah was thrown into the waters. Then the raging sea suddenly became quiet. And, while Jonah sunk into the waters, the storm ceased.
It is said that it was while he was sinking into the sea that he cried out to God: a cry of distress to the Lord. Jonah remembered that he has a forgiving God; a God full of mercy that even though he deserved to be punished with his death being imminent, he recalled of the steadfast love that God has for His people; a God who is slow to anger; a compassionate God. And, thus he prayed for mercy and God heard him and, saved him. It was then that He was swallowed by a large fish (a whale probably) and remained in its belly for three days and three nights. The Lord had mercy on Jonah and saved him miraculously in a fish’s belly.
It was while he was inside the fish belly that Jonah prayed and thanked God for listening to his plea of deliverance. It was while he was inside the fish belly that the he prayed and glorified God.
This is because he asked for mercy in the imminence of his death as he sunk into the depths of the water and God answered him by sending the fish that swallowed him. The fish was Jonah’s place of refuge sent by God for three days and and three nights. It was his vessel in reaching the dry land.
The story of Jonah is not fictional. It is not a parable. It was a real story which Jesus even mentioned in his teachings. Jonah’s story is a story of inspiration, a story of encouragement to all of us, particularly to God’s children, that God answers us and hears our cries. That, in the moment of our distress, we have a living God whom we can turn to and who can save us, for God hears our cries to him. That He answers us inspite of our guilt, of our sins, of our shortcomings to Him. All we need to do is to pray and call His name. And, He will be there, yes, He will be there just when we thought we are not worth saving for.
They say desperate times call for desperate measures. But if you believe in the power of God to save you especially in times of distress, all you need is to cry to God and to rely on Him, to trust Him that He will save you and carry you in the most trying times of your life. And, believe me, He will.
God’s promise is clear: “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).
Cry out for Him with humility, faith and sincerity and He will deliver you. God be with us.