023-jonah-nineveh300x225“…Praise the Name of the Lord your God that hath dealt wondrously with you”

(Joel 2:26).

One of the most encouraging things about new years, new weeks and new days is the word ‘New’. The dictionary reveals its meaning: “Refreshed, different from one of the same that has existed previously.” Best of all, it is a place to start over. Refresh yourself, change directions, Begin anew. But that requires knowing where you are. It requires taking time to honestly admit your present conditions. Before you find your way out, you must determine where you are. Once that is accomplished, you are ready to start over.

Just as there are some few atheists in foxholes, so there are few rebels in fish’s stomachs. Perhaps you can identify rather easily with Jonah. He was prejudiced, stubborn, openly rebellious and spiritually insensitive. Other prophets ran to the Lord but Jonah ran from Him. Others declared the promises of God with fervent zeal but not Jonah. Somewhere down the line the prophet got his inner directions cross – wired. God told him ‘Nineveh’, but he went on a ship bound for Tarshish. Through a chain of events, Jonah began to get his head together in the digestive tract of a gigantic fish.

 

What a place to start over! Slopping around in the seaweed and juices inside that monster, fishing for a match to find his way out. (Jonah 1:3; 2: 7-9) Jonah took a long, honest look at his short, dishonest life. For the first time in a long gap, he brushed up on his prayer life. He yelled for mercy. He recited Psalms. He promised the Lord that he would keep his vow and get back on target. The big fish felt more sickly than Jonah. O young generation, have you dodged, ducked and squeaked your way through one Tarshish trip after another. You are swallowed alive by your circumstances many times. You feel oppressed, guilty, exhausted and overused. Satan may whisper in your ear saying, “You are through, finished, burned out, used up, you have been replaced….. Forgotten”.

 

Look at what the prophet Joel writes to all the Jonahs who are vexed up ‘I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locusts has eaten…’(Joel 2:25). If God can take a disobedient prophet, turn him around and set him on fire spiritually, He can do the same with you. He is a specialist at making something useful and beautiful out of something broken and confused. Openly and freely declare your need to the One who cares deeply. Show God all those locust bites and He is ready to heal. Are you ready to run toward Nineveh called to-morrow?