The Belly of the BeastPosted: March 26, 2012
You would think Jonah and the giant fish was the title of a children’s book. Kids love giant things. Like peaches, big red dogs and beanstalks. A giant fish, however, would make me cry for my mommy.
One of the morals of Jonahs story is that you can run from God but you can’t outrun God. He has a calling for you and as afraid or defiant as you may be of that calling, He will find a way to convince you otherwise.
Maybe we can learn something else from this story. I learned from Jonah that God doesn’t mind making you uncomfortable or that He wants you out of your comfort zone from time to time.
At the end of the book of Jonah we find him sulking in the out skirts of town, roasting in the hot sun, feeling sorry for himself. I think God messes with him a little bit by providing a shade tree and then taking it away again the next day.
I picture God giggling a little and having a big smile on his face while He does it. I think God makes Jonah uncomfortable not only to teach him a lesson but to poke fun at him at the same time. All out of love, of course.
The most uncomfortable thing for Jonah had to be sitting in the stomach of the fish for three days. There he was, in knee deep stomach fluid with seaweed wrapped around his head. Sitting there while the fish did its business. Always wondering if he was going to be part of the digestive process.
Could you imagine the stench; the discomfort? I imagine that the dark, smelly stomach of a fish is no party. Jonah didn’t have a smartphone to pass the time. He couldn’t play a round of Angry Birds or check the internet while he waited. There was nothing to do but be digested and pray. So he prayed and realized where his stubbornness had gotten him.
We are all stubborn to a point. Naturally, we want it our way and we want to serve and be obedient in a way that is comfortable to us. We love God but in the back of our minds we want God to allow us to stay in our own cozy little niche. But it is never that easy.
God prods and pokes us to get us to move. He puts us in uncomfortable situations so that he can get us to the next level. He doesn’t want us to be stationary or content.
We have to move. We have to take action. The mission rarely comes to us.
So the next time you find yourself in the belly of the beast, that uncomfortable situation, ask yourself. Why am I here? What is God telling me? Where is He sending me?
Question: Has God ever put you in an uncomfortable situation?