Jonah 2:10: Marked by the journey

Posted: August 11, 2012 in Devotions, Jonah, Pastoral ministry

10 Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto the dry land.

There’s a much different image I had of this story when I was growing up.

This is the place where Jonah seems to figure out that he’s made a big mistake.  Jonah ran away from God and in a complete act of God, Jonah ends up being swallowed by a fish.

After spending some time inside and praying for God’s rescue, now we get to a key moment in Jonah’s story.  God takes Jonah to Nineveh.

The problem is that I don’t remember it being this nasty.  Jonah is puked up on the beach by a large fish.

Yuck!

Jonah might have escaped the ocean but he’s not going to forget the fish.  It’s going to take a lot of hot showers and a lot of Febreze to get through this one.   Now, Jonah smells like the inside of fish and he’s standing outside of Nineveh with another opportunity to do what God has asked.

Maybe there’s some truth in this for us.  Maybe in those times that we run away from God, when we ignore what God has asked us to do or when we do it our own way, we end up carrying some marks from the encounter.  We don’t defy God without experiencing some change in our life.  And in the resolution, we find that we aren’t exactly the same as we once were.

We don’t always end up smelling like a fish, but maybe we end up having to show some humility to someone that we’ve wronged, or we have to let go of something to grab on to what God is offering or we have to place ourselves before someone else and ask for forgiveness.  Rebelling against God does carry consequences; we’ll never be the same again.

Jonah’s journey has brought him back to the place where God originally asked him to go and he has been changed by the journey to get there.

Prayer: Dear God, forgive us for the times when we rebel and we run.  Help us to see the world as you see it and to answer the challenge of the call you have given to us.  God, change us in the journey.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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