It’s interesting to think that when we read the story of Jonah and the whale and we always think about the time inside the whale as being one of terror and fear. But really, I think he was told to be quiet for three days -whatever that three days we supposed to symbolize... 3 hours, days, months or years. Jonah was forced into quiet, forced into speechlessness, and all of his needs were met. He couldn’t rely on outside things anymore, and he also couldn’t rely on himself. He was also forced to Listen.
Sometimes it feels like we are in the belly of a whale, and all we want to change the situation. We want to control everything to be back to where we were, but that’s just not always possible. The only way that we’re ever going to grow in deep faith is to trust and to sit quietly inside the belly and just let God be in charge. Listen first and not react. In fear or in anger.
I know a lot of people are inside the belly right now; they are in their “three days”. But please don’t be discouraged. Please know that we’re going to have lots of times when God allows a whale to swallows us, because He wants us to remember that HE is the ultimate master in charge of our lives. Even though we might think we are. Even though we might try to be in charge, in the end we have to trust God inside the whale and know he’ll split us out right back on land. Just where He wants us to be. When He wants us to be there to do what He wants us to do with Him. We have to wait. AND listen to GOD. Just like Jonah.
I believe that in the 4 parts of Jonah’s story, running away, in the belly, doing God’s will and then pouting afterwards, only when he was still and patient and listening, was God most present.
It’s just hard to sit in the belly and wait.
But sometimes it’s what we have to do.