So, I love my pastor. Yup, I said it! I love the way he explains things in the bible in the simplest of ways, and how he relates God’s word to everyday living. He does it in such a way that even if you were blind, you would ‘see’ it!

Two Sundays ago, we had a thanksgiving service and during the sermon the pastor talked about being grateful to God regardless of where we are and what’s going on around us. How timely! I had gone to the service that day with a lot on my mind, taking stock of my year, what I have (and have not) achieved, balancing my cares and worries more securely on my shoulders instead of casting them at the foot of the cross.

So pastor says we should be grateful for the things we have seen, the ones we are yet to see, and for the privilege of the ‘waiting period’; you know, the time between a prayer and the manifestation of God’s response to that prayer.

We strolled to the book of Jonah: the story of the young man God told to go to Nineveh to preach. In my mind, the conversation probably went a little like this:

God – Jojo!!!

Jonah – (taking his eyes off his blackberry) yes boss! I dey hail o!

God – how are you doing son?

Jonah – I firm Bros! You know say you don try for me!!

God – that’s the way it’s supposed to be. So, I have an assignment for you Jojo, and it involves lives so time is of the essence.

Jonah – Really? Anything for you Lord….

God – Ok, so I need you to go to Nineveh and tell them that they need to get it together or I’ll level the place. I’m tired of their continued sinning and disregard for my laws and commandments.

Jonah – (mutters) Jargo, and I thought I would go to the movies today…..

God – did you say something Jojo?

Jonah – me? No! I said I would go, matter of fact I’ll just have a shower and be on my way there!

God – good, let me know how it goes ok..

After God left, Jonah must have thought, ‘now he’s sent me to Nineveh to go and act Prophet of Doom Part 2; once they beg him he’ll forgive and then I’ll start looking like a false prophet. I need to retain my street credibility o! I’m not going jare, in fact let me ping Hephzibah to see if she still wants to see the movie with me’.

And so Jonah in his ‘wisdom’ decided to board a ship going to Tarshish, just to hide from God. How absurd! Hide from God, the one that created him (and his blackberry)? Jonah are you kidding? That’s like my three year old nephew hiding a tin of his baby brother’s milk formula behind him when I spring on him and then telling me, ‘I’m not doing anything aunty’. Ok sweety, so what’s with the spoon in your hand, milk splotches on your face and trails on the floor?

Anyways, away from my cute nephew and back to the sermon. So there was turbulence at sea, the sailors cast lots and next thing, Jonah was thrown into the sea! Sometimes I imagine what was going on in Jonah’s mind when they picked him up, and flipped him overboard. Was he singing Phil Collins’ ‘you’ll be in my heart’, Terry G’s ‘free me now’, or was he quoting Psalm 23?

Like it couldn’t get any worse, he was swallowed by a whale! I’m sure we see days like that, when it seems like everything that can go wrong just does! How Jonah escaped breaking his bones as he got swallowed eludes me; shame there were no cameras then to take pictures of the innards and then probably the odd bits and ends in the whale’s belly! It must have been horrifying though, the thought alone has my hair standing on end!

Good thing for Jonah, he came to his senses (like we all do when we, by our hands get ourselves into a fix). Second good thing was, he probably remembered what his momma told him about prayer and praise and how even though you can pray amiss, praise can never be wrong!

So he started to praise. According to my pastor, while God accepted his praise, forgave him and commanded the whale to spit him out on the shore, Jonah probably contributed to the whale’s vomiting by praising God loudly, dancing, stomping around, clapping, and making such a ruckus that the whale knew it had eaten something wrong!

So what if Jonah had kept quiet? What if he gave up on getting out of the whale alive? What’s that difficult phase you’re going through and you’re feeling tempted to give up? Don’t! Hard as it may seem, please don’t. Use some of the time you’d normally spend murmuring to thank God that you’re alive and lucid enough to recognize something’s wrong. Thank him for the privilege of being his own and therefore unlimited access to him (where you can cast all the cares and worries). While you’re at it, be sure to throw in some clapping, dancing, praise and worship; by all mean make some noise!

Who knows, you might just be hastening your exit from the belly of your whale………

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Comments
  1. jesse says:

    good word and plot decoration. JOB, movies,BB, being in our own low plains. This is so apt: i remember when i had my low time in JULY 2010, was looking for what to do to get bread and butter. Could have prayed, but I didn’t. I suffered it. Guess God loves me toooo good, he rescued me, told the fish to pour me out. Now, I can see why, He’s telling me THE WORLD NEEDS ME, CREATE IMPACT. And that’s my mission and that’s what my blog is about. Thanks @Chi for the story. You must have some excellent work ethics, I could make do with some mentorship or coaching.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearie we all get to that ‘low’ at some point in our lives; God is committed to seeing us through but we must make the effort to praise him while we wait. I’m happy this spoke to you; that’s all the encouragement I need to keep writing!

      Like

  2. abdulnasir says:

    Best so far! Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anino says:

    Long and short..

    always give praises to the Almighty God

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ofili says:

    “How Jonah escaped breaking his bones as he got swallowed eludes me; shame there were no cameras then to take pictures of the innards” lmbo….well written =)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. emorevoke says:

    This is very nice, please do keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well said – prasing and worshiping God is sure exit from life’s trials. Paul and Silas definitely agree.

    http://www.thisisthediaryofanotmadblackwoman.wordpress.com

    Like

  7. kayode daniel says:

    just finished going through the bulk of your recent blogs. i must say the dexterity implemented here is what i cannot but admire. if only we’ll reduce the time spent on fb and the rest and start reading blogs like this amidst other things. we’ll surely have a better world.

    Liked by 1 person

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