Jonah has attempted to escape an omnipresent God to no avail. He opts to sleep in the lower deck of a ship heading in the opposite direction that God has asked him to go; subsequently, a huge storm breaks out, a storm so large that it frightens seasoned sailors.
Life is full of seasoned sailors. Everyone says, at one point, that they’ve “seen it all.”
Inevitably, it is in moments of great trouble that even the most hardened folks will resort to calling on something or someone beyond themselves, because they just want to control the ship before it shatters.
Meanwhile, you’re expected to have it all together, but there’s a good chance you’re in the middle of junk yourself. And that’s okay.
But there’s going to be a time you’re called upon to stand up and testify; how are you going to respond?
So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.”
The captain came to him
The captain of the ship, in a last ditch effort save his stuff, approaches Jonah.
The captain and his gang know Jonah worships a God different from theirs. The members of the ship have been calling on various gods that don’t seem to care about their fate.
In a time of crisis, people are going to approach you, even when you’re not “ready.” Are you prepared for this?
“What do you mean, sleeper?”
When we’re “deep in it”, we often employ our flight mechanism when we should be doing precisely the opposite. What is our God to us if we do not depend on him?
I don’t understand why people find it offensive when scoffers say, “Your God is just a crutch.” I say, God is exactly who I need to lean on when I’m injured, and much more so.
Don’t go to sleep. Someone is counting on you to be awake.
“Arise, call on your God…”
Christian, it is time to get up.
We’ve been sitting and napping for way too long. And whether we think so or not, the world is waiting for us to stand up and finally do something.
But it doesn’t have to be dramatic. It is as simple as a prayer, so that the Lord might adjust you to His will and make you useful.
We must first arise, both a stance of action and reverence, and then call on our God. Despite how scary that seems, the benefits are manifold.
“Perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.”
Despite stats in the U.S. proving otherwise, God is an afterthought in the minds of most American citizens. In a period of great wealth and prosperity in this country (even if you don’t believe it!), we’ve let the Lord of the universe become our personal ace card, useful only in situations most convenient to our personal needs.
Take a look at most prayer requests: they’re usually marked by pleading in times of peril. What about times when things are normal, or even good? Is God no less significant?
Unfortunately, this is the attitude the mainstream has taken. It is not a mockery or even a rejection, but a vanilla attitude. It makes the Lord of the Bible seem less distinct, and the need for God “no biggie.”
The captain prefaces his request with “perhaps.” He’s uncertain.
How certain are the people around you that God will come through? Are you exemplifying real trust in the Lord yourself?
In a sweeping act of humility, Jonah suggests the crew bail him overboard. The storm ends, and all of the crew begins worshiping Jonah’s God.
Hopefully you aren’t in a position to have to hop into churning waters to restore order in your life. However, you are ALWAYS in a position to be useful both to the Lord and to the ones equally desperate for Him.
But whatever your current state, you are useful.