What's Your Belly Story?
1From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2He said:
“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.
3You 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.
4I said, ‘I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.’
5The engulfing waters threatened me,#5 Or waters were at my throat
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6To 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.
7“When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.
8“Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.
9But 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.’ ”
10And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
Jonah was in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights….
- This symbolizes the tomb….the darkness, the hopelessness, death.
- Jesus’ reference to Jonah (Matthew 12:39-41)
“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep into the very heart of the seas and the currents swirled about me; al your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet will I look again.’ (Jonah 2:1-4)
When has God’s hand come upon you and you didn’t notice because you were looking for a more dramatic rescue?
Have you had ‘belly times’…..when you’ve been at rock bottom?
If you happen to be in a ‘belly time’ today, how will you reach out for help in getting back on shore?
How assured are you of God’s love for you….even in those darkest moments?
“…as high as heaven is above the earth, that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.” (Psalm 103:11, Common English Bible)
Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC