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The Dirty, Dark, Depressing Belly of the Fish

Meg

I have a rather lengthy passage of scripture to share with you today. I wanted to share Jonah 2 in its entirety with you. For background, in chapter one God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach a message of repentance. Jonah refused and ran away from God, hopping a ship. Soon awful storms began to brew and the crew members threw Jonah over the side of the ship, where he was swallowed by a huge fish. Read what happened next:

“Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish:

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 the LORD.
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, HCSB).

Jonah was in the darkest place imaginable. To him, it felt like the lowest place on earth. He was smelly, he was hot and he was more than likely terrified. He was in dire need of deliverance, and so he called out to God for help. Even in this, the darkest of moments, Jonah understood a valuable truth.

God follows us everywhere.

We can be on the highest of mountains or in the greatest depths of the sea and God is still there, right beside us, seeing us through each trial and tribulation.

There is no place we can go or situation we can tangle our self up in that God can’t reach.

When we’re in the darkest of moments, it’s sometimes hard to remember this truth. Sometimes it’s impossible to see God at work, but he’s there.

I don’t like that I live in a world at war. And I don’t like that my husband has to take part in this war.

But I do take comfort in knowing that God will be there, right beside my husband, every step of the way.

Yes, this deployment will often feel like the belly of a fish: Dirty, Dark and Depressing.

But God will be there, giving air, giving light, giving life, all along the way.

“Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, You are there;  if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon[or] settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me.  (Psalm 139:7-10, HCSB)