From the depths of the belly of a great fish, Jonah cried out to God in his desperation. Jonah felt thrown away, thrown out of God’s sight. He went as far down as a body can go.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt like things couldn’t get worse?
Despite his desperate situation, Jonah acknowledged that God pulled him up from the certain grave alive. When his life was slipping away, he remembered God, and he realized God not only heard but answered his prayer and delivered him from the destruction he deserved. At that, he chose to worship God and call out in thanksgiving.
While Jonah certainly made some mistakes (disobeying God’s plan for him and then running away from God), I have to give Jonah credit. How often in our despair do we blame God for our storms, failing to recognize the consequences of our own disobedience? How often do we cling to worthless idols, even the idols of our own desires and wishes, failing to surrender our will to God’s?
When Jonah was in the pit – alone in the belly of a fish, having been surrounded by the black of the sea – he offered gratitude and praise, recognizing that God brought his life out of the pit. For that, I can admire Jonah.
Are you able to praise and thank God in your desperation? What can you find to thank him for today?