[notice]A fortnightly devotional based on everyday experiences.[/notice]
But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. — Jonah 1:3-4 (NIV)
Do you ever wonder if you have missed out on God’s plan for your life?
I’ve tried all kinds of things in an attempt to make sure that I’m not missing out on God’s plan.
I’ve prayed, I’ve fasted, I’ve spoken to friends, and I’ve tried anything I thought God might want me to do.
This means I’ve been a jewelry designer, a bookkeeper, a paramedic, an outdoor education instructor, a pregnancy crisis counselor and a television producer.
All in a desperate attempt not to miss out on anything God has for me.
And then I discovered the story of Jonah.
God told Jonah to go a place called Nineveh. God was pretty clear that this was his plan for Jonah.
Jonah didn’t really like God’s plan so he tried to go in the opposite direction.
One dark stormy night, on the voyage away from Nineveh, Jonah was thrown off the ship into the sea.
But God sent a whale to swallow him like plankton.
Jonah stayed in the belly of the rather large mammal for three days and three nights until God ordered the whale to vomit Jonah onto a beach just outside of Nineveh.
It was the exact place that Jonah had been trying to avoid.
The problem for Jonah was that it was the only place in the world that God wanted him.
Why do I like that story?
I like that story because it reveals that Jonah – who was actively rebelling against what God wanted him to do – was guided by God to the exact place God wanted him to be.
It helps me realize that if I’m actively seeking to God’s plan for my life he will make sure that I stay on course.
In the story of Jonah I discovered that it is a lot harder to miss out on God’s plan for our lives then I thought before.
God isn’t trying to trick me into missing out on the best he has for me.
God is consistently, and lovingly, guiding me to the exact place he needs me to be right now.
Knowing that God will send a whale if I go off course has allowed me to relax, trust God with my life, and recognise that He is in control.
Has there been a time in your life when you can see God sent a whale? Ask God to send a whale when you’re going off track and to keep you on the path he has for you.