“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish; and he said, “I called out of my distress to the Lord, and He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; Thou didst hear my voice.”…”While I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord; And my prayer came to thee, into Thy holy temple. Those who regard vain idols forsake their faithfulness, but I will sacrifice to Thee with a voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord.”
Jonah, through his own disobedient choices, was put into a desperate situation and found himself in the belly of a huge fish. In that fearful place he cried out to God, and God heard the prayer of his repentant heart.
We can find ourselves in desperation over crisis attributed simply to the fact that we live in a fallen world. Sin in the world hurts innocent lives. It’s the nature of evil to be calloused to the fact that we are not to blame. In these circumstances God weeps with us and cares deeply for us being sovereign over even the unthinkable. We can know that our God who is totally loving and totally just ultimately will prevail.
However much of what we suffer has to do with the choices we make. Jonah chose to blow off God’s clear instructions. We often do the same. Even so, the God of compassion who weeps with us when we are innocent is also moved with incredible mercy even when we are totally guilty. His constant love for us longs to give us second chances. It is that perfect divine love that allows Him to orchestrate a desperate situation in which we are firmly but tenderly placed. God, because He loves us, will go to great lengths to put us in a state that challenges our perception and outlook. When we cry out to God, He is faithful to hear and respond. He is the God of of second chances and His heart is always filled with compassion and mercy toward us. There is nothing like the embrace of God after we have offered Him our broken hearts and asked for His forgiveness. Oh, the unfathomable love of our God expressed through our Lord Jesus Christ.