Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, and said, “I called out of my trouble and distress to the Lord, and He answered me; Out of the belly of Sheol I cried for help, and You heard my voice. Jonah 2:1-2 (Amplified Bible)
O Lord [pleads Jeremiah in the name of the people], I know that the [determination of] the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man [even in a strong man or in a man at his best] to direct his [own] steps. Jeremiah 10:23 (Amplified Bible)
How many choices do we make each day? How much time do we spend thinking about whether we are making the right choice or not? My experience has been that I make some choices automatically with little or no thought. Then there are choices that are excruciating for me to make with a whole lot of time and thought involved. And sometimes it seems that in the end the choices I should have spent the most time thinking about, I didn’t. Then there were choices I lingered over way too long and they should have been easy peazy. So now I am going to share some of my thoughts about choices as we look in Scripture at a choice Jonah made that landed him in the belly of a fish.
Our Father knows everything, so He knew Jonah would cry out to Him in his distress. After all Jonah was in the belly of a fish as a result of a choice he had made. God was listening for Jonah’s cry. And Jonah knew God heard his cry because God our Father is always listening.
What desperate places we must sometimes get to, to cry out to our Father. Sometimes we are there due to our choices, sometimes due to others’ choices, and sometimes because we live in a fallen world. But God is already there. Already waiting for our cry out to Him. Our Father knows perfectly just how much we need Him. Just as He knew where Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Yet, He called out to them, “Where are you?”
When God our Father created Adam and Eve, He gave them free will so they could make their own choices about every decision they would ever make. We too were created with free will. “The Fall” in the Garden of Eden came as a result of Adam and Eve’s free will to choose. They trusted in themselves and chose to eat from the tree of the knowledge good and evil. Jonah ended up in the belly of a fish as a result of his free will to choose. He trusted in himself. We as humans still live with the consequences of Adam and Eve’s choice. We, as humans, sometimes end up “in the belly of a fish” as a result of our own choices.
Oh, if we would only remember with each choice that we do not have to make it alone! As believers, we now have Jesus Christ living in us as our resource for making decisions. We have access to Him 24/7! Jesus is ready and willing to aid us with all our choices! And more great news is that God our Father already knows about the choices we have made and will make. Knowing all of this, He is waiting for us to cry out to Him when we have trusted in ourselves with our choices. We can never go so far that our Father is not already there with open arms. There will always be consequences and sometimes discipline with our choices, but our Father’s grace is always more that sufficient if we allow Him to reign in our lives.
Who will we trust? Ourselves or Jesus? The choice is ours.
Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise and skillful person glory and boast in his wisdom and skill; let not the mighty and powerful person glory and boast in his strength and power; let not the person who is rich [in physical gratification and earthly wealth] glory and boast in his [temporal satisfactions and earthly] riches; But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and know Me [personally and recognizing My character] that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord. [Jeremiah 9:23-24 (Amplified Bible)]
Are you struggling with choices you have made? If you would like to talk with someone, please email us or give us a call. We would love to talk with you!