Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.
Jonah 2:1-10 ESV Bible Gateway
One fun fact I found about the book of Jonah is that Chapter 1 ended with the fish swallowing Jonah, and Chapter 2 ended with the fish vomiting out Jonah. Both events involved the fish, and both events involved God ordering the fish to open or to close its mouth in His desired time. Interestingly, the purpose of Jonah’s journey on the ship was to flee as far as he could from the presence of God. Now when he is inside the fish’s belly, down in the deep blue sea, he is finally alone, and alone with God. How many times have we experienced this in our life – “You never know God is all you need until God is all you have.” I guess similarly, “you never know prayer is all you need until prayer is all you got”. That’s what Jonah was going through. He was experiencing a true lockdown physically, yet through prayer, his spirit was able to rise beyond the tummy of the fish. He remembered the Lord. He proclaimed Salvation is in the Lord. He was able to reconcile with God again.
God also allowed a lockdown in our life in the year 2020. Things might have seemed turned upside down, and very little are in our control. But however the Lord was with Jonah inside the fish belly, He is also with us. He’s sheltering us under His wings. He was our hiding place. “You are my hiding place, you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance”. (Psalm 32:7). Trust Him! He is all we need. Take some time to pray to Him today; feel His embrace and allow His song of deliverance to echo in your heart.
Dear Lord, though things may seem crazy these days, I thank you for sheltering me under Your mighty wings. Embrace me and deliver me from my troubles, and give me the strength to face what tomorrow may bring.
This chapter reminds me of the song “You are My Hiding Place” written by Michael Ledner. Since we are still under the Shelter-in-Place order, it made it hard to sing together with someone, and so I tried using a sound editor for the first time to put together this duet. Special thanks to my bestie, Irene, for singing this song with me. It’s just nice to be able to “sing together”.