Monday, February 6, 2012

I am in the Big Fish

Scripture says that the Word of the Lord came to Jonah and told him to go to Nineveh (a very long way away) and preach against the wicked town. But Jonah ran away, ended up in a huge storm, got swallowed by a big fish, was spit out back where he started, had to travel far far away to Nineveh, and then had to proclaim a message alone.

Jonah 2

 1 [a]From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 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.
3 You hurled me into the depths,
   into the very heart of the seas,
   and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
   swept over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished
   from your sight;
yet I will look again
   toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me,[b]
   the deep surrounded me;
   seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
   the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, LORD my God,
   brought my life up from the pit.
 7 “When my life was ebbing away,
   I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
   to your holy temple.
 8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
   turn away from God’s love for them.
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
   will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
   I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’”
 10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

I am much like Jonah. God has placed a call on me, but the task seems overwhelming at times. It seems like it is impossible. I write a book, and how will it get published? How do I have the time to complete the book when I am gone 12 hours a day? If I quit my job to write, which I would leap at the opportunity to do, I will be bankrupt.

God gave me this call. I want to know the plan. I don't know the plan. So, I run away. He created a storm in my life like no other I could ever imagine in 2011: my contract was not extended last year at my past school even though I had an excellent evaluation and spent three years working my butt off fighting the fight for God; so I quit. We go through my entire retirement again. Then my husband is no longer my husband for multiple very disappointing and hurtful reasons. Now, I am in another foreign land (Victoria) not directly working with children and barely making ends meet.

But then, He miraculously ends my aunt's marriage, and now we have a roomie to help us out. I am no longer grieved by loneliness. The girl who was working on the music for my lyrics finished, and the song sounds great. It's ready for copyright and selling. Who knows how that is going to come together.

My blog is close to 2000 reads. Answered prayers are all over the place. I feel God igniting His desires in me. Finally, I am given the opportunity to preach at my church yesterday which was an amazing blessing to me (I felt the Holy Spirit on me yesterday; our Bible Study today described it perfectly. I love it when God confirms things for me because it does idiot proof my path).

How far down into the depths of the ocean must I travel before the fish starts taking me back up. Like Priscilla Shirer said in our Bible Study's video tonight in the belly of a fish "you are changed". The stomach acid will work a number on you physically. I can only imagine the spiritual and emotional makeover as well. My life is being transformed, and it is painful. I am physically altered, emotionally altered, and spiritually reborn. I have been in the depths of the ocean and have felt the seaweed choking the life out of me.

"When my life was ebbing away, I remember you, Lord and my prayer rose to you to your holy temple." Jonah got it right when he was in the belly of the fish. Submit. He was trapped in the belly of the fish, though. So, what was his option other than waiting for God to have the fish spit him back out. I guess that he could have fought the fish; that's what I do.

I fight God's hands so often when I should not resist their guidance. I feel pretty trapped right now, though. I'm in the belly of the fish, and the more I struggle the deeper we go. I know that there is a journey ahead for me, but I can't get started until I have done my time trapped in this fish. I have to quit fighting and sit back for the ride. The shore is approaching; I feel it. My aunt's arrival is like the fish breaking through the water. I don't know how much longer I have in this stinking fish, but the shore is approaching. I have faith.

There is still a journey waiting for me outside of the fish. I have to make it to my Nineveh which means that I have to finish the book completely before I can preach the words that God gives me. 

I cannot be distracted. This is my second chance/third chance/fourth chance/etc. I cannot allow the past to recur. So, I break the past off of me. I denounce the past, and I will not repeat my past mistakes. I will fear no man. I will not waiver nor falter in my pursuit of God's will, His passions for me, and His mission for my life.

Praise Jesus that I don't have to wait for my prayer to rise to God's holy temple because I am a temple, and the Holy Spirit is with me. God hears my prayer, knows my confusion, knows my doubt, and has the plan. He's not sharing how that plan will take place. I know what the end picture is, but I don't know how to get to it. So, I sit in the fish and wait. God's directing the fish and me. I can only say that my salvation comes from the Lord.

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