When my life had almost gone, I remembered the Lord. - Jonah 2:7a (NCV)
As their cruise ship had entered the area of the Bermuda Triangle a major storm come upon them and all passengers were ordered below deck for their safety. Not wanting to miss out on his chance to see the Bermuda Triangle up close, Robert convinced Bill to help him sneak top side and when they went up a giant wave washed them overboard.
As they desperately tried to swim back to the ship, one wave after another pushed them farther and farther away and soon the ship was out of sight. Getting tired from their efforts they started to sink and would have soon drowned had it not been for life boat that happened to get knocked loose in the storm as well. In hopes of reaching the boat, Bill put forth one last effort and caught hold of a rope from the boat and they were able to pull themselves to the boat and crawl in - totally exhausted.
The next afternoon, Robert was awoken by a thud on the side of the life boat. As he opened his eyes and peered out into the ocean he saw what appeared to be a triangle floating across the water. "Bill !" He shouted, "Bill! There it is - the Bermuda Triangle." As Bill came too he looked in the direction Robert was pointed. "That's no triangle! Bill exclaimed, "That's a shark!"
Sure enough, what they saw was a shark, several of them. All afternoon the sharks circled the boat as the guys desperately tried to make the boat move away from them. but no matter how hard they tried, the boat wouldn't move. The boat did have oars they tried to use but the sharks kept biting them off. As night began too fall, the guys tried to cheer each other up by telling each other that tomorrow would be better but when tomorrow came another problem came with it.
When Robert opened his eyes the next morning he glanced over at Bill and saw a large chili dog. "Yum." Robert thought and crawled over to have a bite. "Ouch!" Bill screamed as he opened his eyes and what he saw was a large fried chicken leg waiting to be devoured." From than on Robert and Bill chased each other around in that little boat trying to eat each other until they loss their balance and fell in the water and quit hallucinating.
Hanging on to the edge of the boat with sharks swimming around their feet, they started to think that the mission trip might not have been so bad after all and started to pray asking God to save them since they couldn't do it themselves. As they prayed, they started to move. When they looked up to see how they were moving they saw something pulling the boats rope through the water but they weren't sure what it was.
A couple hours later they saw land and before they knew it what ever had been pulling them disappeared and they floated in to shore and on to the beach. Once on the beach they were immediately surrounded by a bunch of french fries and milk shakes or was it people, they weren't sure but they were happy to have finally been rescued.
While Jonah was inside the fish, he prayed to the Lord his God and said, “When I was in danger, I called to the Lord, and he answered me. I was about to die, so I cried to you, and you heard my voice. You threw me into the sea, down, down into the deep sea. The water was all around me, and your powerful waves flowed over me. I said, ’I was driven out of your presence, but I hope to see your Holy Temple again.’ The waters of the sea closed around my throat. The deep sea was all around me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. When I went down to where the mountains of the sea start to rise, I thought I was locked in this prison forever, but you saved me from the pit of death, Lord my God. “When my life had almost gone, I remembered the Lord. I prayed to you, and you heard my prayers in your Holy Temple.
Jonah 2:1-7 (NCV)
When we think of Jonah we almost always think of how he ran away from a God given command and was swallowed by a whale. We may think that as a prophet of God he should have known better but do we ever think about how much we are just like him. Like Jonah, many of us would rather run the other way, come up with excuse, plug our ears, or pass things on to someone else than do what God would have us to do.
As we continue our thoughts on Jonah and how much we tend to resemble him we turn to chapter two where we find Jonah praying in the belly of a big fish / whale but his prayer took time in coming.
As a prophet of God we would think that Jonah would be devoted to prayer, that praying is one of the first things he would have done but when trouble came it wasn't Jonah that was praying it was the ungodly sailors. - Then they cried out to the Lord, Jonah’s God. “O Lord,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin. And don’t hold us responsible for his death. O Lord, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.” - Jonah 1:14(NLT) As for Jonah it took him another three days before he decided he should do some praying - The Lord caused a big fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights. - Jonah 1:17 (NCV) It was than, when his life was almost gone that he remembered the Lord and prayed.
The bible reminds us on many occasions to remember the Lord and to take our worries, etc too Him :
- Deuteronomy 8:17-18 - You might say to yourself, “I am rich because of my own power and strength,“ but remember the Lord your God! It is he who gives you the power to become rich, keeping the agreement he promised to your ancestors, as it is today. (NCV)
- Ecclesiastes 12:1 - Remember your Creator while you are young, before the days of trouble come and the years when you say, “I find no pleasure in them.“ (NCV)
- 1 Peter 5:7 - Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.(NLT)
- Philippians 4:6-7 - Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (NLT)
Despite these reminders, like Jonah, we tend to wait until trouble has been hanging around for awhile before, until we're in the belly of our whale, before we turn to God. Can you imagine what life would be like if we didn't wait, if we didn't hesitate, if we prayed first and worried later.
Here's Something to Ponder
- Do you ever have need of prayer?
- How long do you wait to pray?