August Reading: The Book of Jonah
August Memory Verse: Psalm 84:1-2
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"Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to Him." Jonah 1:15-16
There are seasons in life when we just want to be thrown overboard, just like our Jonah.
Seasons that are too rough, too rocky, too messy, too painful....
We just want to jump ship and escape.
Are you with me?
Not long ago, I was in this season....
Something was happening around me and I cried out to the Lord, "I'm done! I cannot take one more day of this. Do you hear me, Lord, I am done!"
My heart was aching, my flesh was burning, my spirit was completely weary.
Just like Jonah, I wanted to escape the raging storm. I needed to flee. And far.
If a jet would have landed on my house, I would have hopped right on and flew to the farthest continent. I would have even settle for a boat, like Jonah.
My emotions were at an all time high. I went straight to my room, grabbed my bible, and pouted to the Lord. I explained to Him why this was just not working for me. It was too hard. It was too......much.
I wrestled with Him about why I had to do this. Why was I the one that had to deal with this situation that always seemed to have chaos and confusion....and pain.
He showed me this verse: "Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Romans 8:17
He reminded me of the big picture. The picture that He paints. Not just the picture of a girl [me] wanting to flee, but a plan much bigger than me. A plan that involved His masterpiece. A masterpiece that I couldn't see, but that He was putting together, one day at a time.
He reminded me that any suffering and hardship endured would bring forth glory. Glory to Him.
Read the last part of that verse again...."we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."
My heart burst wide open when I read this. He was showing me the light at the end of this long dark tunnel.
He was showing me that the part I cannot see yet, He already sees. The part that seems impossible and hopeless, will bring Him glory and that I will be able to share in that glory one sweet day.
My heart began to look at the situation differently. Instead of seeing a boat being tossed and turned in the sea, I saw a boat in the midst of the storm, yet sustained by an anchor. A big, huge anchor of peace.
The anchor was Him.
The storms will come, He reminded me. I just have to trust in the strength and power of my anchor...Him.
So, instead of throwing myself overboard like Jonah, I can sit tight in that boat and know that my Anchor is sustaining me. He will keep me safe, and He will keep my heart at peace. I just have to remember my Anchor is there. Through every storm.
One last thing that strikes me when reading the verse at the very top of this page:
"Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to
the Lord and made vows to Him." Jonah 1:15-16
Do you see what I am talking about?
This wasn't just about Jonah, it was about these men witnessing a miracle. These men, who were unbelievers, started to believe in God.
Jonah thought the story was all about him, when really it was so much more. God was doing many things that Jonah could not see in the midst of the storm.
Think for a moment of your situation. Can you think of someone that may be affected in a HUGE way because of watching you go through that storm?
You have no idea what God is doing to those around you as you go through that storm. It would truly amaze you.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
Something to Ponder:
1) Think back to a time when you wanted to jump ship, like Jonah. Or maybe it's right now. Maybe you feel that any minute you will be overcome because of the storm swirling around you. If the storm has left, can you see what God was doing in the midst of it? If the storm is still raging, ask Him to show you something today. Ask Him to give you a glimpse of the big picture He is creating. He is so faithful, go ahead, ask Him.
2) Do you need reminding that He is your anchor? Do you need to feel His presence and His peace today because of the storm swirling around you? Listen to His Words....
"For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us." Romans 8:37-39
"I am holding you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God—and I say to you, Don’t be afraid; I am here to help you." Isaiah 41:13
"I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you." Isaiah 41:9
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:4
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain" Hebrews 6:19
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