Reflective Digestion: Insights from a Fish’s Belly

jonahOne of my many embarrassing moments speaking was the night I got Jonah in the “whelly of the bale” three times. I just couldn’t get it out…Jonah was supposed to be in the belly of a whale, but I couldn’t locate him there with a GPS!

I have to admit, Jonah’s story is one of the stranger ones in Scripture–and that is saying something. There are some really tweaked journeys described in the Bible. It’s part of what speaks of its authenticity to me. I mean, if I (aka God) were trying to convince people to follow me, I’m not sure I would use so many unsavory, insubordinate and idiotic people to lead the way!

But, I am convinced God put the story of Jonah in the Word to encourage us to address our deep tendency to run away from Him and hide from His challenges. Our own way seems to make so much more sense.

These icons of our culture offer us shortcuts to significance in place of the longer, higher journey to intimacy and impact.

  • comfort–make me feel good
  • conformity–make me look good
  • complacency–make it easy
  • convenience–make it quick
  • capital–make it worth it

Jesus demonstrated what it looked like to live a risky life stretched by sacrifice but filled with meaning. The He invited us to follow Him.

God wants us to matter–to make a difference, leave a mark and create a legacy. We too often settle for making a living, blending in and leaving a portfolio.

God often uses pain, discomfort, and hard times to prod us toward significance.

Jonah might call it “reflective digestion” moments…he gave a whole new meaning to stewing in the juices!

Those are the seasons and circumstances that allow us–force us–to think about the beauty and power of living on purpose instead of on the run.

Like Jonah, the prayers we pray and changes we make in the broken moments of our lives determine the impact we will have in the moments of our lives after we emerge.

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