There are so many reasons to be afraid today. Fearsome storms, record-setting heat and wildfires, the latest mass shooting, political turmoil, economic uncertainty. Do we as Christians have answers? And are we willing to offer real solutions? Consider the following story of Jonah who was running away from God’s clear call.
“The captain went to him and said, ‘How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish’” (Jonah 1:6).
In the midst of the howling storm, the captain tried everything. He ordered the sailors to lighten the load, so the cargo was thrown overboard. If they survived the storm, they would lose all the revenue from this trip. Except for Jonah’s fare.
Someone suggested that they pray. So, all the sailors prayed to their gods. But the storm grew only more intense.
The captain shouted over the howling wind, “I’m out of ideas. Does anyone else have any suggestions?”
One of the men replied: “You know that crazy Hebrew we took on board at Joppa? Well while we carried up the cargo from the hold, I couldn’t help noticing that he’s sound asleep.”
Someone else said, “Why isn’t he praying?”
“I’ll find out,” said the captain. Holding onto the railing, he struggled to keep his footing as he made his way down the stairs to Jonah’s bed. Sure enough, the Hebrew was sound asleep. Snoring!
If nothing else will wake us up, maybe the LOST will shake us awake!
Jonah ran away from God. The heathen sailors told Jonah to return to his God. Sounds strange, but the sailors challenged Jonah because of their dire need.
Why did the sailors ask Jonah to call on his God? Because he had something that might meet their need. Jonah had told them that he was running away from God. Obviously he knew something about his God that the sailors did not know about their gods. The difference was that Jonah had a relationship with God. If he had a relationship with God, then maybe he could intercede on their behalf.
Do you hear the cry of the lost? They are telling us to wake up and give them hope. You protest: “They never ask me about my faith, not like the sailors asked Jonah.” Perhaps, you aren’t asked because you don’t live a different life. No one is jealous of you. Nobody wants what you have.
Maybe you are so neutral that you have not even offended anyone.
It’s terrible to live and not know why you were born.
It’s terrible to die and not know why you lived.
For Reflection: When was the last time someone asked you why you are different? Has that ever happened? Why or why not?
You can read more thoughts about Jonah in Fearless by Faith by Brother Andrew and me. Click here to order your copy: