From Inside the Fish

Click here to read Jonah 2:1-10 

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his GOD.

I love the story of Jonah! I can relate to Jonah on so many levels. Today's reading takes place after Jonah is thrown into the sea (at his own request) and it starts with "From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his GOD." And I realize sometimes for me too, I don't truly reach out and pray to GOD until I am deep, deep within the fish.

We don't know much about Jonah before his trip. Was he a spiritual man? Did he follow all the rules? What we know is found in chapter 1 verse 1..."The word of the Lord came to Jonah." ... and what we know is Jonah ran from the Lord.

I too have found myself running from GOD at times in my life. I may not have known I was running from GOD, but I was running away and not towards... and running away for me is generally a sign I am not headed toward GOD. While I have never found myself in the belly of a fish, I have found myself bottomed out seemingly without friends, estranged from family and wanting so... so badly for things to be different.

I left home after high school on less than friendly terms with my parents. I joined the navy entered the submarine service and didn't speak with my family for quite a while... They don't have pastors, priests, rabbis, or even mullahs on submarines, but on mine we had about 4 or 5 people who would hold a service on Sunday morning in the mess hall. At first I was hesitant, but my parents had always made me go to church and it was a habit I still yearned for... and slowly with the help of these 4 or 5 shipmates I came to realize what Jonah realized in chapter 2 versus 5-10.

"The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me, seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my GOD. When my life was ebbing I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs, But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord."

Don't ever underestimate the power of your family, your friends, or your relationship with GOD. When you feel like your being swallowed by a fish... reach out in prayer, reach out in love, reach out in hope, but whatever you do...REACH OUT! GOD is, GOD was, and GOD will be there for you! Amen and Amen!


Precious Father, Loving God, Holy Spirit I reach out to you with all my heart, all my soul, and all my strength. I pray you are in my thoughts this day, in every action I take, every breath I take, every thought I have, whether it be on a mountain high or in the belly of a fish...I pray! AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Kim wrote:
Thanks, Jim, I really needed to hear that today.

Mon, March 30, 2009 @ 10:13 AM

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