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A Heart For God: In the Belly of a Fish

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In the Belly of a Fish

"'I called out of my distress to the Lord, and He answered me.'" (Jonah 2:1a) "And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights." (Jonah 1:17)

So the story goes of a prophet's rescue from the sea. He literally becomes fish food.

And have you ever wondered what it must have been like for Jonah inside there? If you've ever seen Walt Disney's "Pinocchio," you might picture Jonah as Gepetto was - with elbow room enough to even lay out on a lounge chair if he wanted to. I tend to believe that it wasn't quite that comfortable of a lodging place. Fish digestive tracts aren't necessarily known for their quaint accommodations.

It most certainly was dark, probably quite close-fitting and very slimy inside the stomach. And after three days and three nights with all the acids and enzymes at work, Jonah may have felt like he was as close to becoming a prune as anyone had ever been.

And can just you imagine if Jonah wasn't inside there alone? Surely he must have had some company, don't you think? Could there have been some other half-digested bait alongside him? After all, this was a large fish. And what of the smell? It most certainly was awful at best.

Whatever the case, the belly of a fish was surely not the best of environments for Jonah to find himself in. Yet it was God's chosen means to rescue him and answer to his prayer. (Read the verses again.) Jonah had asked for this?!

Sometimes a person calls out to God for help and he's rescued from one dilemma only to face another. Has it ever happened to you? Has God ever chosen to bring about your deliverance in a "creative way"? Maybe even right now? Could it be that dark, close-fitting, slimy, smelly, turning-you-into-a-prune place you find yourself in is exactly what God ordained and you needed?

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2 Comments:

Blogger David said...

So how do you know it's a Jonah event and not something else, like a "no" answer to a prayer?

9:10 AM  
Blogger Bridget Willard said...

What's amazing is that Jonah waited for the third day to pray (repent).

4:12 PM  

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