Gather around friends,
I remember one time I was in my pre-teens and I was out with my friends by the pool. My high school friends (mmhmm). I was somewhat confident in my speedo lightning blue one piece and my braided hairstyle and I could see them in the deep end. The water was clearer there as opposed to the 3-feet part of the pool where all the bubble guppies were 🙂 They splashing with waddling pool toys unaware of all that life had to offer beyond 5 feet mark.
Well…ladies and gentleman..so was I …
Because it was my life that flashed before my eyes. In an attempt to get past my bullish teacher who in her grasp was the social life killing device which oddly enough was made to supposedly save my life….a bright neon green , over-sized life jacket , once zipped up it double my size and hid my neck and most of my chin. Not today, I thought confident of my plan. I bolted past her faster than anything and plunged into the water. It invaded my eyes, nose, and mouth. My airway was turning into a tunnel of fire and my eyes had shut out all possible visibility. Voices were leaving my consciousness and my mind automatically tried to get a grasp of this situation and went into a panic because my feet never touched the bottom of the pool. My teacher stood there calmly to my surprise that was after my body decided to submit itself to natural laws of science to float up. Aware that I was now being watched. I quietly climbed out the pool, owning my destined fate with life jacket and went to the bathroom.
It wasn’t until I turned the corner that I heaved for air and leaned against the wall for support to breathe…my throat and lungs stinging and my pride, like my towel, in a wet puddle on floor. (sigh)
I told that embarrassing story to make a point.
That’s what the last couple of months were alike. I wanted to formerly apologize for not typing more—I had not forgotten about you guys. I have to tell you–your responses are very encouraging and I do appreciate them all. The past summer was well difficult and I found myself dealing with a lot of personal things, coming to realize certain realities within myself and my surroundings. I did a reading on Jonah…
You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. (Jonah 2:3)
Last spring working its way into summer has been pretty difficult. My online classes combined with my daily work and after work toil almost killed me. I was so exhausted and if it had not been for my understanding professor..well I probably wouldn’t have made it as well as I did. Anyway, because if my score it requires a retake and thought itself is daunting….and guys it got worse..much worse before it got better.
Last spring, I mentioned changes that were going on. How I felt like I was losing…everything. You know what happened? During that whole period of time. I was quiet. It wasn’t a knowing quiet– like how you know that everything is going to be alright. It wasn’t a peaceful quiet. It was more like an exhausted quiet. More like I’m-sick-of-it quiet. I never voiced to God (meaning that I complained about it to others) how frustrated I was and honestly, if I had it probably would’ve lasted as long as it had. I wasn’t honest with myself and I definitely wasn’t honest with God about how mad I was about it.
Jonah story is unique within itself he’s the only one sitting at the table of bible heroes that can say that he was swallowed by an animal and spat back out. I love telling it to younger kids, teaching principles of obedience to God. Watching their faces as you describe in detail what happened, the screams of “eew!” as we all talk about what the inside of a whale smells like…yeah it’s pretty gruesome stuff. But it wasn’t until closer study that I realized Jonah’s honesty and openness in prayer…
In prayer, I usually had to work my way to confessing how something made me feel. I felt powerless, inferior, forgotten and let down. I believed the lie that strength looked like being silent. I’d walk around for weeks holding it in my chest, in my hands and pockets. Brimming between a breakdown and flipping out. Then I’d grow quiet for long periods of time and often times to the point of sickness..unfortunately.
I was sinking.
Sinking is silent–it’s quick and it’s deadly. Your survival solely depends on your own ability. And just like how it became clear of what I could not handle at that pool. The same analogy goes into life. Each day, I am reminded that I have none and it’s dissettling to admit that but I am learning more and more to be okay with that. I am in not possession of my heart when it’s breaking.That I am not in possession of my life and the things that come to me.
But I am in possession of the promise that I am not alone.
I am in hope that these experiences work my faith and that because it’s working my faith I know it cannot end in failure. Little did I know that I was being refined. I was being conditioned for the better. Each trial, it wasn’t God punishing me is more like God was showing me a reflection of myself…a reflection only stormed waters could reveal. He was showing me the depths of my heart. It’s in the working of these daily trials that we get to that place of victory. That place of abundance. The sweet spot.
Where there is perfection, a maturity about your faith and walk in life.
12You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance. (Psalm 66:12)
King David said it perfectly.
These trials are not to break us down or trip us up. It’s supposed to make us use our resources, trust in what we know. For Jonah, it took the worse of anything that I could imagine at this present moment, being swallowed by a whale for him to turn back to the Truth. It wasn’t until then–that he prayed but before then he chose to run. Jonah went on–He actually tried to “flee from the Lord” in a geographical sense which may seem a little weird or strange. But how many times in our own personal lives have we avoided God? We did something wrong so we’re avoiding prayer or not going to church.We’re avoiding not bringing it up or talking about it.
Jonah’s story proves that regardless of what excuse we’ve given to ourselves there isn’t anything stronger or bigger than God himself. He can handle anger, he can handle sin–all of it. Regardless of what the voice of shame has to say. Shame is a master of disguise.Shame is a deceiver and only has one agenda and purpose. To oppress and burden those that have been made free. To confuse us what we already know to be true and to separate us from what we need. It has the ability to even change the nature of who we are.
What kind of things keeps you away? How many miles have you traveled to get away from where you are supposed to be? We have to ask ourselves are we asking God for the right things? Are we asking God to take things away or to change the problems (in our eyes) for mere comfort or is the answer to our problem something we change ourselves?
We were made in His image. We have the ability to create and live victoriously. But that can’t happen if we’re closed off to what it is God want us to do and most of us know what that is.
Remember..Running away results in disaster. Keeping quiet and silent results in disaster. Doing nothing results in disaster.Sinking silently results in disaster.
Notice Jonah’s reasons for not going to Ninevah were never mentioned and I think that’s on purpose. Because they hold no validation in the eyes of God. I think Jonah knew that…in the deepest parts of his heart. He knew there was nothing he could do to change what God had wanted him to do but he made an attempt with his own ability anyway. His decision had consequences and when everything seems to be going downhill at a rate unlike anything else. …We get a unique glimpse of what is on the inside of him. He prays.
In the beginning, he starts off remembering the goodness of God and how he’s aware of who God is.
1 [a]From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.
2 He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
Humans are just naturally forgetful and that’s without the mental illness in play. We forget our keys, passwords, formula’s and instructions. It’s important to remind yourself 0f the truth we know. Because we know the truth.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
Salvation simply put means deliverance, to save, rescue. We have to remember in a breathless moment under the waters of life. When the once serene waters makes its way into your nose and lungs. When the pressure of everything is too much and your strength is failing, because it will fail.. Who will you call for?
. Who will you call for? I had to ask myself who will I call on? Who can I trust to handle my downfalls?
Myself My Family My Plans My Strength My Friends My Boyfriend My favorite quotes from Oprah My Ability My Boss and Coworkers My neighbors Dr. Oz Show
Jonah called on God. He prayed and returned to what he knew to do before. The people in Ninevah were thankful and changed their ways. They too were saved. At the end, Jonah was still upset and angered about how good God was with the Ninevites. God simply replies in the most loving way saying that because Jonah wasn’t the Creator himself he shouldn’t feel like he has to worry about Ninevah. God cares for the things He creates and the everything He created he took time for. God is not into half-hazard throwing things together so we, well I should be able to trust in the things he has set in place.
His goodness draws me closer and his availability keeps me open.
He can handle any frustrations that we may have and lovingly answers us. Each day revealing to us those things that are unseen with healing words and steering our souls into gentler waters. ..
Never Stop Becoming Friends,
Word of the Day:
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. (Hebrews 6:19)