Jonah, the prophet who tried to run away from the call of God, has been on my mind lately. The little book that bears his name includes a prayer that Jonah prayed (Jonah 2) from a place of deep personal distress, crying out to God for help. When a violent storm threatened to destroy the ship Jonah had chartered to take him to Tarshish, the pagan sailors urged Jonah to pray. Instead, Jonah insisted that they throw him overboard. It wasn’t until he had reached bottom, “the belly of Sheol,” that he turned again to God.
Nehemiah, by contrast, sought the Lord on every occasion. His response to adversity reminds me of what Paul wrote to the Philippians: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). This is a timeless truth that I want to practice more and more in my own life. Join me?
Pastor of Singles & Support Group Ministries