Choosing Life in the Whale’s Belly

Jonah 1:3a (NIV) – “But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish.”

For personal reference that verse could easily read: “But Becky ran away from the LORD and headed for Norfolk.”

If you back up to verse 1 and 2 of chapter 1 you find out what made Jonah run: “The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: Go to the great city of Ninevah and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

The word of the LORD.


<insert Jonah running in the opposite direction>

I know about running away from God’s call to “go”.

My call from God goes back to childhood.  My mother had a wooden plant stand and at the age of five I had already begun to preach from that stand, Bible laying flat upon it.

My pulpit.

Faith like a child.

And when I became older and discerned God leading me to attend seminary for further training…I ran.

After receiving my bachelor of music degree, instead of packing and heading for seminary, I went back home to Virginia.

Comfort zone.

Comfort zone?

I had driven myself right into the belly of the whale of disobedience.

I prayed and cried out to God just like Jonah had (2:1).  Except I didn’t realize the belly-life I was living.

Just existing.

Not being fully used.

Disobedience hinders growth.

Disobedience hinders ministry.

Disobedience takes a lot of wrong turns.

Nothing I attempted could move me beyond and out from that whale’s belly.

Nothing I


But when I began to seek HIM first,

in earnest,



so willing.

He shined a light.  He reminded me of a little girl with an open Bible on a plant stand preaching to an empty living room.

He said, “Go”.

“And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” (2:10)


It’s not too late.

God still has a plan and purpose for your life.

He still wants to use you.

Give up belly-living.

It’s foul and gross compared to the dry ground God wants to set your feet upon.


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