Searching for Whales

Let’s talk about Jonah. Let’s talk about this prophet who directly told God “no,” and took off in the opposite direction. The story is that Jonah ran to Joppa and then got on a boat to Tarshish.

Let’s put this into perspective.

The distance from Joppa to Nineveh was 550 miles. The distance from Joppa to Tarshish is 2,500 miles.

Jonah was not playing around, and he was not being subtle. He didn’t tell God, maybe later, or God, please don’t make me do this. He said NO.

We all know how the story goes. A storm comes and Jonah is tossed overboard after telling the crew that the storm was his fault. The part of this story that really interested me was the time between when Jonah is thrown overboard and when he is sitting in the belly of a whale.

Every time that I read the story of Jonah, I’d read it with the perspective that the miracle was Jonah being saved from the belly of a whale. I thought that Jonah was at his lowest point while inside the fish because that would certainly be my lowest point. But when you read the story, that isn’t what Jonah says.

Jonah 2:5-6; “The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. 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.”

I think this is so interesting because it provides a perspective shift. The whale wasn’t the disaster, the whale was the blessing. Jonah was asking the Lord to save him from the depths and from the despair he was living in, and God said yes. God sent a whale.

It makes me wonder what the whales are in my life. How many answered prayers am I blind to because God sent the answer in a way I didn’t expect? I never want to get stuck in my own perspectives that keep me blocked off from the presence of God in my life. I want to search for the whales.