This Day In History: 0000-01-07

January 7 – Jonah 2:5-9 

I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. 
Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. 
I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. 
I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. 
But You, oh Lord my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! 
As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. 
And my earnest prayer went out to You in Your holy Temple. 
Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. 
But I will offer sacrifices to You with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. 
For my salvation comes from the Lord alone. 

I know I’ve never been literally in the belly of the beast as Jonah was when he prayed this prayer, but as I read his description of how he felt in there, I certainly can relate. I do know what it is to feel as if the waves of sorrow and grief have closed over me. I know what it is to feel as if I’ve sunk down to the very roots of the mountains, shut out from life forever. I know what it is to feel my very life slipping from me, and to feel as if death has consumed me. Perhaps you, too, know what it is to feel that way? 

Perhaps that’s why I feel such victory and joy as I read the end of the second chapter of Jonah, as he finally reaches the breaking point and makes a choice to turn back to God. My heart swells as I read the words, “As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord” because that is exactly how I felt when I, too, turned back to my Lord and Savior. 

From the depths of despair, I somehow recognized the ever-present hand of my God upon my life and my circumstances. No matter how I felt, He had never left my side. He had never stopped helping me, protecting me, loving me. And so, like Jonah, my earnest prayer went out to Him in His holy Temple. 

My friends, we are never too far gone to remember the Lord. No matter how you feel today, will you take a moment to see Him? See His hand gently guiding you. Can’t you see that He has never stopped loving you? Won’t you cry out to Him today, along with me, “I will offer sacrifices of praise to You, for my salvation comes from the Lord alone!” Let’s trust Him today – He is our hope!