Remember Yahweh!

Sometimes I feel like Jonah in the belly of a fish, dying on the inside, wanting to do something, wanting to just get out, or even get away from all the hate, the bitterness, and the division that is happening. It honestly disquiets my soul and causes me angst. I just happened into Jonah this morning and part caught my attention. It was the prayer of Jonah when he was swallowed by a giant fish. Let me share that prayer with you this morning, because I think many of us might feel this way: “I called to the Lord in my distress, and He answered me. I cried out for help in the belly of Sheol; You heard my voice. You threw me into the depths, into the heart of the seas, and the current overcame me. All Your breakers and Your billows swept over me. But I said: I have been banished from Your sight, yet I will look once more toward Your holy temple. The waters engulfed me up to the neck; the watery depths overcame me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. I sank to the foundations of the mountains; the earth with its prison bars closed behind me forever! But You raised my life from the pit, Lord my God! As my life was fading away, I remembered Yahweh. My prayer came to You, to Your holy temple. Those who cling to worthless idols forsake faithful love, but as for me, I will sacrifice to You with a voice of thanksgiving. I will fulfill what I have vowed. Salvation is from the Lord! Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” Jonah 2: 2-10 Don’t you feel like you are in a cage sometime? Especially during the season of unprecedented snow and bad weather that keeps us from going anywhere, but still attacks us with frozen pipes and no electricity.  It changes our comfort zone and puts us in the belly of the whale. But when we find ourselves at a place where the stress wants to make us cry out, let’s cry out to God. Let’s pray what Jonah prayed. He said, ‘As my life was fading away, I remembered Yahweh!.  Now are the times of remembrance. Now is the time to let go and let God, for He knows your situation, and He knows your trials. And He waits for you to call on Him, to put your hope in Him, no matter what the outcome is, when He is our focus, and when He is our hope, we will not fear, even if the “whale” swallows us. Jonah got into trouble because He tried to run away from God. Perhaps that’s what is happening to us even now. We might very well be running away from God, running to our own devices, to try to dig out from the pit we have fallen into. But we are just wasting our time, for we cannot escape from the belly of the whale when it has swallowed us, but God can make the situation bearable; He can make our time precious when we put our hope in Him. Today, don’t look at the damage that is happening around us, look at the Caretaker of our Souls, and let’s sacrifice a voice of thanksgiving to Him, and fulfill the vow of love, even from the depths of the pit. Pastor Andy

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