Marlo’s Devotion – Jonah and The Whale
The Lord called Jonah to preach in Nineveh against their evilness. This was an overwhelming task as God’s plan for Jonah was extremely dangerous – almost like going to ISIS and telling them to turn to Christianity. Because of this he ran from God and tried to escape on a ship.
Reading this story it can seem silly how Jonah tried to run from God, you may even think of him as foolish to think he could escape a divine being with a boat on the seas of God’s creation. But how much does this relate to us? What ‘boat’ do you use to try to escape from God’s plan for you? It could be a life of partying or ignorance to God’s lessons. It could be that you push him from your mind in replacement for earthly wants or needs. Everyone struggles with it no matter the extent of your faith – following God’s plan can almost seem like stumbling through a dark void – guided by a warm hand that you clutch onto for fear of the darkness, but sometimes that hand seems to think more of you than you do yourself, and staying in place, where you may build a false sense of security. I know for myself, I can be terrified of what God has planned for me. Engrossing myself in study or games is my ‘boat’ to escape from God’s plan.
On the boat, Jonah went below deck to sleep, but was woken up by the captain to call on him to pray to his God as such a terrible storm had appeared on the water. Once the crew found that Jonah was the cause of the storm, they were terrified of him – and what he had done to anger his God. Jonah was then thrown off the boat to calm the storm. It was here God called up a whale to swallow Jonah.
It is here where we are given a snapshot of what life was for Jonah while he was running from God, In his situation that was represented by him sleeping – For us today that could be connected to us enjoying our freedom away from God, as we try to escape him, but his sleep is cut short by a storm as the people around him begin to fear Jonah for what he had brought upon them, ultimately the men threw him off the ship.
I can’t speak for others – only for my feelings, but the times I have tried to run from God and live without him, were the times I struggled the most – it was those times when my actions brought those closest to me to tears and I started to hurt those around me despite lying to myself about liking the actions I was taking at the time, but like Jonah when I turned my sight back towards God, and my devotion to him and his plan – I was able to form a smile again, and those around me lost their need to worry so much about me.
Trying to run from God and his plan will never end in fulfillment. Some people choose to live life in that state, but for me, I want to smile and be glad even when the world seems to crash around me, like the storm that battered that boat.
—Marlo Quenault, Year 13
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