Swimming With Jonah: Storms, Sailors, Savior

Hello Friends,

How are you doing today? Are you enjoying your Summer vacation? I recently just saw some posts on Facebook about school supply shopping days, schools releasing their schedules for the upcoming school year, and parents asking how to purchase a yearbook….It seems that Summer is coming to a close before our very eyes. It feels like it just got started! As my Grandma used to say, “It is what it is.”

Anyways, do you remember who we talked about last week? We talked about a prophet who ran from God to a far away place, who is on the verge of getting swallowed up by a large fish–or dolphin as you said last week….That’s right, Jonah! We talked about Jonah. Jonah learned a very important lesson that day. He learned that you might run from God, but you cannot hide from God. Jonah got on that ship and hid way down deep inside the ship. He even decided to take a nap. “Surely God won’t find me here,” Jonah thought. And last week I reminded you that no matter how far or how fast we try to run from God, God is always going to meet us or beat us to our destination because He knows where we are going, He knows what we are going to do. So rather than run from God we should run toward God.

Today, we continue the story of Jonah. In our text today (Jonah 1:4-16), Jonah encounters a storm, some angry sailors, and begins to experience his savior–the creator of the heavens and the sea and the dry land. These verses teach us that no matter what is going on in our life–whether we are sad, happy, being good, or got in trouble–no matter the people we meet, our Savior, Jesus Christ, is going to be there to help rescue and save us. This is what is taking place in our text today:

But God sent a big storm and tossed that ship around so much that the other sailors thought they were going to drown. They found Jonah in the bottom of the ship and asked him, “Who are you and what are you doing here?”  Jonah answered, “I am a worshiper of the God of heaven, who made the land and the sea.” Jonah told the sailors that he was running from God because he didn’t want to go to Nineveh as God had told him to do. When the sailors learned that Jonah was running from God, they were even more afraid. “What should we do to stop this terrible storm?” the sailors asked. “Throw me overboard into the sea,” Jonah answered, “and the sea will become calm.” The sailors picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea and the storm stopped at once. (“Man overboard!!!”)

In this text we are reminded that sometimes in life we have to confess to our mistakes, sometimes in life we will battle “storms”–anger and being upset, sometimes in life we will forget that God is with us in the boat ready to get us to safety, and sometimes we will forget that what we do affects those around us. As you go about this week, tell yourself that God has a plan for me. God is going to get me through the storm. God is going to put people in my life–your mom, dad, sister(s), brother(s), grandma, and grandpa–that can change my life. God has given me a Savior that will rescue me. Don’t run from God but run toward God!

Let Us Pray: God, we know we can’t hide from You. You know what we do and what we think. Give us the strength and courage to do all the things that You want us to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Your Friend, Holy Spirit!


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