Pastor Tyler Scott at Community Presbyterian Church had such a great message yesterday, I thought I would share this morning. The context is a reading of the book of Jonah, chapter two, of which we get this beautiful passage:
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.
3 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.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me,[b]
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
brought my life up from the pit.
7 “When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.
8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
Jonah acknowledges his now failures and turns to God, praising Him for not only the good things that have come about in his life, but also for God’s discipline which he’s instilled. God is not only gracious and generous, but also steady in discipline, which Pastor Scott likened to good parenting. When we go astray, He comes to open our eyes. It may look harsh, it may not be what we want, but the fact that we have a God willing to do that to make sure we are on the right path is very beautiful. Sometimes, it takes a hard moment for us to be jolted and understand what God’s will is, and it’s a reminder that in those moments we should praise Him, not curse Him. Food for thought on a Monday morning.