Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.”…And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. — Jonah 1:11-12, 17
Sometimes it takes throwing ourselves into the sea to allow God to rescue us. We need to jump off the ship of sin and selfishness that we’ve been traveling on–the ship of slavery to sin–and leap into the ocean of God’s redeeming grace. There are times in our lives when we realize we, like Jonah, have boarded a ship going in the opposite direction than the one to which God has called us. Whether it is fear or shame or anger or doubt, we choose to run, to run away from the One who has called us. Yet He who calls, provides. Hebrews 10:23 encourages us to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” God is faithful. Even when we are not, God is faithful. Therefore, once we recognize our sin, we must turn our backs to the sin that has been so easily ensnaring us (Hebrews 12:1) and run to God, not away from Him.
So what does God promise to those who take the leap? To those who recognize their sinfulness and choose to turn away from sin and death? He sends the fish and calms the sea. Yes, as we peer over the side of our ship, the ocean may look rough at first, but we must hold fast to our confession that He who promised is faithful. Now being in the belly of a fish may not be a pleasant experience, for no discipline seems joyful at the present, but painful. Yet we know that it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11). God wants us whole. God wants fellowship with us. And just as a father disciplines his son, so God must chasten those He loves. We must trust that God disciplines us “for our good, that we may share his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10)
So I encourage you this day to take the leap. Have you been taking a nap in the center of the ship while the storm rages around you? Have you been running from God’s plan for your life? Wake up! The storm is raging, the ship you are on will sink, but God is calling out to you. He wants to save you. Turn from your sin, run to Him, and take a leap into those ocean waters. He will send the fish. He will calm the sea. He will set you free.