“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me all your waves and breakers swept over me.
I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.
“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.'” Jonah 2:2-9
Jonah is always a fun character to study. It seems we we learn something new every time we read about him.
He’s a “mixed bag,” though. In that, he’s like us. We love; we hate. We’re selfish, we’re generous. We’re uncaring; we’re kind. We’re ungrateful; we’re thankful.
In this prayer, we find Jonah in repentance. When you’re in the belly of a whale, you’re bound to be at youu rock bottom. At this point in his life, Jonah could only rely on God for help.
Sometimes you have to pray for people to actually be at their rock bottom in order form them to look up. It’s a bold prayer and shock others who hear it, but it has biblical scripture to back it up. Jonah is just one person we think of. David seemed to constantly be at his rock bottom. Abraham, Elijah, Isaiah, Paul, and many others found themselves hitting rock bottom. When we’re there, it’s a terrible place to be, but sometimes people have to hit it before their life changes.
There are people in your life who need to hit rock bottom before they wake up. They know the truth but are stubborn enough to reject it at every level. And while it’s tragic to watch as it occurs in real time, ultimately it’s the best thing.