Recently, I had the opportunity to write devotionals once a week for the local newspaper in Park Rapids, MN. I wrote about three different types of storms we may face in life. Since they were already written, I figured I would share them here as well for anyone interested.
The first type of storm we will look at is a Storm of Disobedience. We can find a Storm of Disobedience in Jonah in the Bible. God instructed Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh in order to tell them to turn from their ways and serve God. Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrian empire. At that time, the Assyrians were violent and vicious people that the Israelites were extremely fearful of.
Instead of heading to Nineveh as God had instructed, Jonah jumped on a ship to head to Tarshish. Nineveh is the modern-day city of Mosul, Iraq, and Tarshish was located in southern Spain. Jonah was supposed to make a short journey east to Nineveh (Iraq), but instead, he sailed west across the Mediterranean Sea to Spain. Jonah was heading in the opposite direction the Lord had told him to go. He couldn’t have been much more disobedient to the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3)
Not long after they set sail for Spain, a huge storm interrupted their journey. Jonah ends up telling the crew to throw him overboard and then the storm would stop. The crew throws him overboard, the seas calm, and Jonah is swallowed by a giant fish. After spending three days and nights in the fish, Jonah finally prays to the Lord. (Jonah 1:4-17)
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I don’t know about you, but I think I would have prayed before three days of being stuck in the belly of a fish had passed! I say this… but how often do we get stuck in hardships, or life’s storms and wait three days, three weeks, three months, or even three years before we pray to the Lord and get Him involved? It shouldn’t be so.
The Lord is always listening and ready to get involved in our lives. Many times all He needs is an invitation.
After Jonah finally prays to the Lord, the Lord delivers him and the fish spits him out on dry land. (Jonah 2:1-10) Jonah obeys and speaks to the people of Nineveh. After hearing about the Lord from Jonah, the people of Nineveh turn from their ways and the city is saved! (Jonah 3:1-10)
Jonah experienced unnecessary and needless pain because of his disobedience. All of us will face Storms of Disobedience at some point in our lives. All we need to do to start our way out of a Storm of Disobedience is reach out to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. It’s that simple!
We can't assume all storms are caused because of disobedience. Next time we will look at another type of storm, Storms of Association.