“I called to the Lord out of my distress, and he answered me.” Jonah 2:1
This past week I was telling the preschool classes the story of Jonah and the big fish. I would guess that just like me, many of you already know the basic story of Jonah: Jonah is told by God to preach to the evil city of Nineveh, but he refuses and tries to sail away in the opposite direction - a sea storm is sent to swamp the boat and so in desperation the sailors throw Jonah overboard to appease God - God sends a large fish to swallow Jonah which takes him to Nineveh where he ends up preaching and the evil city repents and is saved.
But this time as I read it, I really took notice of the passionate prayer Jonah offers up to the Lord in chapter 2 while he is in the belly of the fish. He fears that his life is over. He feels that he has been brought down to Sheol (the land of the dead) the waves and the seaweed surround him and he is surely going to drown. But in that last moment he remembers the Lord and he remembers to pray asking God for help, calling out to God and he rejoices that somehow his prayers has gotten through to heaven and has been heard. And he knows that God has saved him.
So often in life we face those moments of loneliness, distress, worry, and/or fear and we begin to believe that there is no hope. In those moments you have to have the passion of Jonah and remember to reach out to God in prayer and he will help you. God will always hear our prayers. The hardest part is to begin – so start praying.
In the Grace of God,
Pr. Kirk Griffin