Summary: Jonah like the rest of us is ready to pray as he sees the end at hand.
Jonah finds a calm place in the storm. Jonah 3
As I read the account of Jonah I can’t help but wonder exactly what happened that day. I mean it almost seems from what the scripture says that the second Jonah hit the waters the raging sea became as calm as glass. It doesn’t tell us if the sailors watched as he threaded water until the fish came and swallowed him. We don’t even if Jonah was conscious when he was swallowed. All we know is that they threw him in the raging water and it became calm and then he was swallowed by a great fish. As the sailors stood on the deck of their ship they must have thought that was the last that they or anyone else for that matter had ever seen of Jonah.
I also can’t help but wonder what was going through Jonah’s mind when he realized that he was in the belly of the fish at the bottom of the sea. I mean when you’re sitting in the belly of a fish at the bottom of the sea there’s one thing you’re sure of and that’s that you know that you are going to die. That’s a given.
In his situation Jonah would be like many people who face a terminal disease. They know that their time is very limited and they have plenty of time to think. As a matter of fact for some people laying on a hospital bed in the ICU is the first time they really stop and think. Most of us grow through life with our brains in neutral until we realize that our lives are almost over.
Its during times like this many people take stock of what they’ve done with their lives. They evaluate their past and then they determine how they will spend what little the time they have left. The last thing they want to do is waste any more time. Time is like money, the less we have the more conscious we become of our need to take care of it and use it wisely.
Most people are worriers by nature. Knowing that they’re facing a certain death causes them to become preoccupied with their failures rather than the things that they have accomplished. They worry about things that have happened, things that are happening or things that might happen. I just finished a book on W. A. Criswell who has pastored First Baptist Dallas for fifty years. The writer said the secret to his longevity in ministry at the same church was his attitude. Criswell said, "Don’t reflect and don’t regret. Just keep pushing forward." In other words he didn’t spend all his energy worrying about any mistakes he made in the past he was driven by his vision of the future.
Its like someone said, "There are two things you should never worry about." One thing you don’t worry about is the things you can’t change because if you can’t do anything about them why waste time and energy worrying about them. The other thing you don’t worry about are the things you can change. If you can change them don’t worry about them, change them." I also read another variation of this thought where one man said, "Ninety per cent of the things I worried about never happened and I couldn’t do anything about the other ten per cent. So, why worry?
Some people reflect on their past and they become bitter in their final hours. Their whole life can be summed up by the words, "If only." If only I had taken this path rather than the other, things would have worked out so much better. Or if only so and so hadn’t done this, that or the other thing to me my life would have taken a completely different course and I wouldn’t have ended up where I am today. If only. Regardless of where we find ourselves in life there comes a point where we have to accept that we are where God wants us to be. Either He has had a plan for us and our problems are part of His plan or He doesn’t. If He has a plan then we are where He wants us to be and He’s using the pressures of life to mould us into the image of His Son or if we come to the conclusion that He doesn’t have a plan then what does it matter. Life is meaningless.
There are also those who find themselves facing death and after they have taken stock of their situation they use their time productively making things right and then doing the right things.
Let me ask you what would you do if you were sitting in the belly of a whale knowing that death was imminent? Or maybe the better question might be, what would you do if you knew you only had a couple of days, six months or even a year to live? Are there things you have been putting off until you have the time? You see there comes a time when we have no time. None of us lives for ever.