Title: WHEREVER, WHENEVER
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me. “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice.”Jonah 2:1-2
I was not a very good swimmer as a child. In fact, as much as I loved the water, I never dared to go near it for fear of drowning. I had heard so many horrible news of people drowning that I felt staying too close to the water could even drown someone. I cannot forget one issue that took place when I was quite at a tender age. This incidence sealed my fear of the water totally: I wasn’t going close to a river anymore. Here is what happened:
I had gone out with some friends for a swim, and as usual, I just stood by the edge of the river while the rest pulled off their clothes and dove it for a good swim. I was used to watching them have fun without me in the water. As long as I was safe on land, I was cool with it. After all, I could still have my own fun on the land too. However, all at once, it happened so fast, I felt a push behind me with such force that I was sent flying into the air towards the water. There was a huge splash and before I knew what was going on, I had gone underwater.
I could only hear everyone’s faint scream as I struggled to grab a hold of something, anything that will keep my head above water until any help would come. Well, I caught a few branches and held on tight before friends came to pull me up. It turned out that, though I could not find him, I was told that someone had pushed me into the water as a way of pranking me. Well, I almost died of fear from his prank. Can you imagine the feeling of drowning and everything else around you just fading away, sound, sight and nothing to grab a hold on? You’re just left to fight for your life by yourself until you either meet your Maker or someone shows up to help you out.
Today is about a man who, by the situation of things, found himself inside the belly of a very big fish. That would seem like drowning, wouldn’t it? Imagine the heat, the gut smell and everything possibly found inside a fish’s belly. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t fun. And it wasn’t easy. It’s not among the least places you’d want to have a vacation. But, here was a man who like me that day, felt like this would be his end. You know circumstances, especially the ones we dread, can so overwhelm us that we feel this is it for us.
But, in that moment, be reminded of something, our opening text. The point here is this: and He heard my voice. O what a great joy to know He hears us when we cry out to Him from our affliction. What a great joy to know He’s stirring up to turn the tide in your favor!
I John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
It’s a great relief for the believer that as you bring your need before the Lord and cast them upon Him in the place of prayers, He will not only hear but He’ll answer.
Do you feel surrounded and/or drowning in pains, despair, betrayal, needs, fear, responsibilities, family, spouse, children, parents, etc.? Whatever your own river may be, whether caused by your own hand or by another, help is nearby. Call upon Him and He will answer.
Psalms 145:18-19 says, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.“
What is the requirement for calling upon His name?
- The fear of the Lord
- Truthful and sincere declaration of need before the One who alone is able to do this.
But, will God hear you once you call Him in great reverence and sincerely? Yes, He will. In addition, He will also answer.
Take your needs before Him in prayers today, and like Jonah in the fish’s belly, turn to and wait upon Him until change comes. I see your prayers answered today in Jesus name amen.