Rescued from the Depths: Hear It, Use It

Monday June 27, 2011

Blinking back the intermittent tears, I was drawn to the story of preservation, a rescue affected by the hand of God.

When we recall Jonah and the "great fish" that swallowed him (Jonah 1,2), most of us see that fish as punishment. Jonah, after all, ran from God! He "sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord" (Jonah 1:3).

As the storm rose and the ship threatened to break up, Jonah calmly tells the sailors he knows he's the cause. "Pick me up and throw me into the sea," he says.

The sailors plead for God's mercy, certain that they're taking Jonah's life (v. 14). Then they toss him overboard.

But what does God do? He provides a "great fish" -- saving Jonah from what seems to be certain death. Chapter 2 recounts Jonah's prayer of thanksgiving from inside the great fish. Jonah thanks God for saving him, remembering that he called for help "from the depths of the grave" (Jonah 2:2). As life's circumstances close in on Jonah, he "looks toward His holy temple" (verse 4).

In the provision of the great fish, God brings Jonah's life up from the pit. With a song of thanksgiving, Jonah embraces the grace of God as he proclaims Him the source of salvation.

I doubt Jonah expected that a great fish would be used to preserve him. But God always has a greater plan -- one we don't expect.

So, when circumstances are closing in, what can we do? Call on Him. Trust in Him. Utter a prayer of thanksgiving, and know that our cries are heard.

When does rescue come? When we stop trying to save ourselves and turn to Him.

Those intermittent tears in the midst of Sunday's sermon? I can't begin to tell you of the fulness of a mom's heart as she watches her firstborn lead a congregation. We got to see that today -- and what a place of love it is!

A message of truth -- that we, children of Adam who run from God, are rescued, loved, and redeemed as Jonah. From the heart of a young man whose mom thanks God for His goodness as she blinks back tears.

Linking up today with Michelle at Graceful for Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday.


Anonymous said...

I would have loved to have seen Jonah's face when he was spat out & God still said to him 'Go to Nineveh'. Such a great story of an amazing God who will share his message with people no matter how reluctant we are.

Unknown said...

yes, god "provided" that fish! how often our rescue seems unusual to us! so glad you got to worship with your son as leader. awesome. just awesome.

Anonymous said...

We just discussed that in Sunday School yesterday -- that Jonah's great fish was a source of protection and rescue and not a judgment or punishment. That was a new thought to me.

How sweet it must have been to see your son pastor!

Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam said...

As the mom of two musicians who stand in front to lead others in worship, I am completely familiar with your intermittent tears--what a great feeling!!

Karen said...

Oh, Laura, this is great! I can't imagine how wonderful this was. Yay!

Michelle said...

love this post <3

Jean Wise said...

wow Laura, how wonderful for you on Sunday. I bet that will be a day you will never forget and will always be grateful for. Thanks for sharing your joy!

Unknown said...

What a great perspective….I guess when you know the end of the story you assume the characters do too!. I never really absorbed the fact that Jonah was jumping to his death and the Lord rescued him!

Jennifer @ said...

Ah ... yes! The "provision of the great fish." Even *this* can be a form of grace.

Thoughtful insights, Laura.


So happy, Laura, for you proud mom's heart.


Susan DiMickele said...

Wow, I would be a total mess. In a good way. I can't imagine watching my son preach. I would listen to every word. Yeah God! Yeah Mom!

Let us all be rescued again and again.

Michelle DeRusha said...

This is the key, right here: "When does rescue come? When we stop trying to save ourselves and turn to Him." You got it, Laura. And that's pretty much what I wrote about for my Hear It, Use It post this week, too -- relinquishing control, handing it over, trusting.

What JOY to hear your son preach! The thought of that gives me the chills!

Unknown said...

This is so true. Often times, things that look as if they are going to be awful, horrible circumstances turn into hidden blessings. I think it is easy for us to forget God's faithfulness and goodness. I know it has been for me. Yet, God has proven faithful time and time again.

Catherine said...

Blinking back tears? You are amazing.. I would have been sobbing! I'm often found dabbing at my eyes in church each week and it's not even my son. What a beautiful sermon!

Clella said...

I don't know how I missed this. Wonderful message. And I know the feeling!!

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