August 28, 2013

Pinocchio

Our pastor has been preaching out of Jonah and this last Sunday he pointed out that Jonah hit bottom several times while he was running from God. Jonah was below deck in the boat he took that was going in the opposite direction from Nineveh (Jonah 1:5), then he was thrown overboard and sank down into the sea (Jonah 1:15; 2:3,5-6), and he was down in the belly of a great fish (Jonah 1:17; 2:10). My husband and I talked about how it must have felt for Jonah inside that great fish.

Sometime ago we watched a PBS television special in which a man, part of a special science museum exhibit, swallowed a tiny camera that showed his digestive system up on a large screen for spectators to watch. I remember watching his throat contract as he swallowed the camera and what seemed to be a huge dark mouth opening to receive it which was his stomach. In addition to the camera, the tiny round container also carried a light, but Jonah would have been in pitch black darkness. I'm a claustrophic BBW and shiver when I think of a wet, slimy throat large enough to swallow me. Three years ago I had to have a closed MRI test for a great pain in my lower back which turned out to be a herniated disc and arthritis. I was sweating and praying in that tiny tube for approximately 30 minutes with my knees and belly touching the sides, trying hard not to panic. I asked my husband what protected Jonah from the stomach juices? Would he have mercifully suffocated first before being digested? Or did he get hung up in its throat like a fish bone? The scripture doesn't really say except that his life was ebbing away (Jonah 2:7). Then, he remembered the Lord and prayed: "Nobody but you, Lord, can save me!" The scriptures say his prayer rose to God -- how did it rise except in volume? I would probably have been screaming and blubbering too at this point!

All this reminded me of a JPEG image I saved from Facebook awhile back called "5 Ways to Process Problems." Look at Number 4! Jonah wouldn't have had a chart such as this to ponder on in his situation at the time, like how to get out of this fish, but he had three days and nights to think (Jonah 1:17).


Click on image to read an enlarged version.
Eventually, he came to the point of knowing the Lord God was with him down there in the belly of that fish, just as  I did when I was in the hospital for two weeks.  I sometimes felt alone in spite of being surrounded by nurses and techs and doctors and visitors at any time of the day and night., however, I somehow knew God was with me. His Presence stood by my bed and comforted me and I am grateful for that, just as I can imagine Jonah acknowledging the Lord's Presence (Jonah 2:9). The Psalmist says: "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. . ." (Psalm 139:7, 8).
 



As for the fish, imagine having a tummy ache for three days and nights after swallowing that "funny fish" in the depths of the sea? I bet it was as distressing for the fish as it was for Jonah before the Lord tickled its hangie-downy thing in the back of its mouth and caused it to vomit its guts out onto dry land (Jonah 2:10). I have a picture in my mind of Jonah popping out of its throat like a bottle cork. I wonder if the fish remained on the dry land, like those beached whales we sometimes see on the news? And think of the smell! Gag and PU! Fish vomit and unwashed Jonah. I'd be kissing the ground and thanking God for his salvation!

 
The scripture doesn't say whether the sailors prayed for Jonah after they tossed him into the sea., but only before so they wouldn't be held accountable for doing so (Jonah 1:14). I feel grateful that I had friends praying for me and thinking of me. For example, Karen brought me a packet of cards and other goodies that she and other kind friends gathered together for me. Here's one of the thank you cards I made from components in that packet and sent to a nurse in the hospital who cared for me.

 
1. Thank you God, for your Presence with me in the hospital. Thank you for your healing touch on my body. Thank you for believing and praying friends. Thank you for antibiotics and hospitals and caring staff. Thank you for being with Jonah all those great years ago.
2. Thank you for green traffic lights.
3. Thank you for Collaboration Works and the new walker with a wider seat that I will be getting this week.
4. Praise the Lord for Linda S.' healing in her eyes!
5. Thank you Lord for the lovely summer temperatures we’ve been having.
 


 

2 comments:

  1. By gosh, I think she's got it!!! So I will first say that your gratitude blog is getting more more interesting and attractive. Your talents are showing! Now my gratitude list for today is:

    1. Having creative and faithful friends like Dolores.
    2. Sorry folks, but gotta say happy about the Patriots win in preseason against the New York Giants.
    3. Also really glad that Tim Tebow, outspoken Christian quarterback got the win. Go Patriots, Go Tim, Thankyou God
    4. My middle grandson, Jimmy, has gotten a job and start's tomorrow with Dollar General just down the street so no car for him to get to work.
    5. There is ample time for me to complete my daily disciplines before Tommy comes home from school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woo Hoo! I knew you could do it! If I knew how to add confetti and balloons, I'd do it! Thank you for your kind comments and sharing your gratitudes with me today! Hope to see you sharing again next week! :)

      Delete

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28).