Today in my Bible reading during my time of “Coffee with the Lord” I thought of someone who may be going through “A WHALE OF A PROBLEM”– and probably one that resulted from their own self-will! (Hey I’ve had more situations like that than I want to admit!)
Oh you guessed who I’m talking about in the Bible, eh? Jonah!
God’s will revealed? … “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before Me!”
Jonah’s self-will? “But Jonah ran away from the Lord … found a ship … and after paying the fare, he want aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”
The result? “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm that the ship threated to break up.” After trying to deal with the storm, the sailors reluctantly threw Jonah overboard, and “the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights!”
An incredibly unpleasant, frightening, and dangerous predicament (and one caused by Jonah’s rebellion and self-will!). I mean imagine it!
What to do when facing a “whale of a problem” – the consequence of one’s rebellion and self-will? Jonah did the RIGHT thing!
Here it is right out of the Bible in Jonah’s own words…
“From inside the fish JONAH PRAYED TO THE LORD HIS GOD! He said, “In my distress I called to the Lord and He answered me! From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and You listened to my cry! … You , Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit! When my life was ebbing away, I remembered You, Lord, and my prayer rose to You, to your holy temple! … I, with shouts of grateful praise will sacrifice to You! What I have vowed I will make good! [It would be interesting to know just what Jonah promised God!] I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’
“And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” (From Jonah 2 NIV)
My recommendation from personal experience? When you’re in a “whale of a problem” of your own making – your foolishness, your rebellion against God’s will, or your stubborn self-will have gotten you there… PRAY! PRAY FERVENTLY! CRY OUT TO THE LORD! Acknowledge (i.e. confess) your sin and ask for forgiveness! Ask the Lord to help you, deliver you and guide you! My experience is that He is a faithful, merciful, gracious God!
Here’s a couple of other verses to support this plan…
“Good understanding giveth favor, but the way of transgressors is hard!” (Proverbs 13:15 KJV)
But praise the Lord… “If we confess [i.e. acknowledge] our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness!” (1 John 1:9 NIV)