When You Find Yourself in a Dark and Smelly Place
"From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God." (Jonah 2:1)
It wasn't God's plan for Jonah to be inside of a fish's stomach. God's plan was for Jonah to obey what He told him to do and go preach to the city of Nineveh. Instead, Jonah tried to run away from the call of God and he ended up soaking in the digestive juices of a big fish.
The book of Jonah is one of the best teachings on grace in the entire Bible. We see God's grace extended to the city of Nineveh. YAWEH was planning on destroying the city because of their sin. When they heard Jonah's message, though, they repented and asked God to spare them, which He did. Grace.
Then we see God's amazing grace extended to the reluctant prophet, Jonah. He tried to run away but, "the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah." It was there that Jonah cried out to God and repented.
Even in the midst of Jonah's sin, he cried out to God. When he suffered the consequences of running away from God, he still prayed. He did not let his pride get in the way of crying out to God. Let's not let our pride get in the way either. If we find ourselves in a dark place, even if it is of our own making, God is waiting for us to cry out to Him for deliverance. Grace.
"Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time..." (Jonah 3:1) Thank God that He is willing to speak to us a second time. Thank God that He doesn't give up on us when we try to run away from what we know we should be doing. Grace.
God's grace is the cure to almost every problem. When we apply it, it sorts out every conflict, it heals every wound, and just makes things right. We love it when it is extended to us, but it can be hard to watch it extended to others. Just look at the story of Jonah again. He was thrilled by God's grace to him, but did not think it should be extended to Nineveh.
Have you ever felt like Jonah? May we all not only experience God's grace in our lives, may we quickly extend it to those around us. Grace.
Annie and I are sharing God's grace in the US and in South America. Would you join our team? Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!