Friday, September 10, 2010

While I Was Fainting Away

Last night I was in Bible Study with friends. We have been going through the book/DVD series, “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl” by Lysa TerKeurst. As we watched this week’s video, she brought out a verse from Jonah that spoke to me and I want to pass it on to you in prayer that it will strengthen you also.

We all know the story of Jonah. He disobeyed God, ran from what God had clearly instructed him to do, even tried to outrun God’s presence to no avail, and jumped a ship in an attempt to get as far away as possible from Nineveh, the place God had instructed him to go to. Things didn’t go so great and Jonah’s disobedience was having a negative impact on the other people on the boat, so they threw him overboard. Then God appointed an “obedient” fish to swallow Jonah and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

Jonah was in a bad place, a dark place with things pressing in around him. Can you imagine all of the grotesqueness of his surroundings? He was pressed against the walls of the fish’s stomach, probably seaweed tangling on his body, no telling what else. In the midst of his environment, he cried out to God begging Him to help him, realizing his disobedience had brought him to certain demise. His life was beginning to faint away. The part that spoke to me was in chapter 2, verse 7.

“While I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came to Thee,
Into Thy holy temple.”

Verse 9 goes on to say-

“But I will sacrifice to Thee with the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord.”

You may feel like you are drowning in the belly of a fish today, but take heart at God’s words. Jonah prayed and prayed, realizing what he had done to God, but while Jonah was “fainting away”, he remembered God and he knew God could hear his prayers. He spoke with thanksgiving to God. The last words Jonah said were:
“Salvation is from the Lord.”

Only then, when Jonah as his own strength was fainting away, admitted that salvation from his circumstances came from the Lord, did verse 10 happen.

“Then the Lord commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.”

I don’t know about you, but in those moments throughout my days when I feel overwhelmed, that I can’t continue for one more second in the situation I am in, as my own strength fades away, I can raise prayers to Him in my fainting and proclaim where my help comes from. He hears them. I may have nothing left to give physically, but salvation comes from God. He will restore me so that I can go on whether I am in the belly of a fish, in the pit of a laundry room, knee high in homework, settling one more argument between my kids, or in the midst of life’s conflicts. Whatever my situation, He is my salvation from it all. As my prayers reach His presence, He refuels me to go on.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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